State Police in East Herkimer have identified the woman who died in a crash on Route 5-S in German Flats on Tuesday.

Police say, 38-year-old Vanessa J. Colon of Mohawk was pronounced dead at the scene after her car struck struck another vehicle, hit guide rails on both sides of the road, and then burst into flames.

Troopers say Colon was traveling in a Toyota Rav 4 in the east bound lane of Route 5-S near the village of Mohawk in the Town of German Flats, when she crossed over into the opposite west-bound lane and side-swiped a a Jeep Cherokee being driven by 70-year-old Steven A. Robellard, also of Mohawk. Police say Colon's vehicle then hit the guide rails on both the north and south sides of the highway before coming to rest and then bursting into flames, trapping the driver inside, police said.

What caused Colon to cross over into oncoming traffic is unknown, however, Troopers say she may have suffered from a medical emergency before the crash.

Robellard and two passengers in his vehicle were not injured. Troopers say the investigation is ongoing.

State Police were assisted at the scene by the Herkimer Police Department, Mohawk Police Department, German Flats Fire Department, Mohawk Fire Department, East Herkimer Fire Department, MOVAC Ambulance, and NYS Department of Transportation.

Anyone with information that may be helpful to the investigation is asked to call police.  Regardless of the area in which an investigation or crime is taking place, anonymous calls, e-mail, and messages may also be left with Mohawk Valley Crime Stoppers by calling: 1-866-730-8477 (TIPS), by visiting, or by using the P3 Tips mobile app. All information received by Mohawk Valley Crime Stoppers is 100% confidential.

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