Crash at Guilderland town line turns fatal

crash, Route 20

The Enterprise — Michael Koff

This intersection at the town line between Guilderland and Princetown was the site of a two-vehicle car crash Thursday morning. The driver of the Ford sport utility vehicle, at left, was uninjured, while the driver of the Pontiac, 52-year Stephanie MacGilfrey of Altamont, was killed.

GUILDERLAND — Shahzad Anwar was working at his gas station and convenience store on Thursday morning, just before 10 a.m., taking money from a customer, when he was startled by a sudden, loud noise.

“I hear a big, big, blam — really big,” said the co-owner of Brother Convenient Mart. “I looked over.”

What he saw was horrible. A Pontiac that had been turning left out of the gas station, onto Route 20 at the corner of Gifford Church Road had been broadsided by a Ford SUV. The Pontiac, totally smashed on the driver’s side had spun nearly off the road. The front end of the SUV, also totally smashed, was stopped in the center of the road.

“I called 9-1-1,” said Anwar.

He said a police officer arrived “within seconds” and surmised he may have been at the nearby Chuck Wagon Diner.

“Everybody went to the people who were hurt,” he said.

Later in the day, State Police, who are investigating the case, released information that the driver of the 1998 Pontiac, Stephanie S. MacGilfrey, died as a result of the crash. She is a 1981 graduate of Guilderland High School. She was 52.

The driver’s side of her 1998 Pontiac was broadsided by Earl E. Allen, 72, of North Blenheim, who was driving a 2012 Ford, the release said.

MacGilfrey was extricated from her car and taken to Ellis Hospital, where she died. Allen was evaluated at the scene and was not hospitalized.

The cause and circumstances are still being investigated. No tickets or charges have been issued at this time.

Anwar has worked at the Brother Convenience Mart, located just over the Guilderland town line in Princeton, for a decade, he said. He has seen a few accidents there over the years, he said.

“The speed limit should be less,” he said, noting traffic often speeds along Route 20.

Anwar also said that there was work being done on a utility pole nearby.  “When people are working, people need to slow down,” he said.

He did not know if MacGilfrey was a regular customer at his store. “I’m trying to figure who she is,” he said on Thursday night. “I was sad all day. I continue sad.”

Updated, April 7, 2016, to include comments from Shahzad Anwar, the owner of the Brother Convenient Mart.

More Guilderland News

  • During the pandemic, many Lynnwood Elementary students had been through “levels of trauma,” said their art teacher, Krista Gillis. She came up with a project that would show them, on their return to school, “They belong here and we love them.”

  • The fifth case, at Guilderland High School, was announced Wednesday in an email from Superintendent Marie Wiles. That last case forced the high school to all-remote learning, beginning on Thursday, Nov. 19, and lasting until Thanksgiving break, which starts on Tuesday, Nov. 24.

  • “I had my life flashing before my eyes,” said Lisa Chrysler of the moment before her son saved her. “When he gave me the Heimlich, I bent over and, within 30 seconds, I felt it go away … He stayed so calm and has been so humble ever since.”

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