Passenger dies in three-vehicle crash

GUILDERLAND — It was shortly after 2 p.m. last Friday when Guilderland fire departments and paramedics received a call about a three-car accident on Western Avenue; despite resuscitation attempts, one of the four victims of the crash died on the way to the hospital.

William R. Dollard, 83, of Guilderland, was driving a 2000 Chevrolet Cavalier, making a left-hand turn from Western Avenue into Hamilton Square, when he struck a 2008 Ford Fusion, driven east on Western Avenue, in the right-hand lane, by Madolyne O. Palmer, 79, of Oneonta, according to Captain Curtis Cox of the Guilderland Police Department.

Cox said events unfolded this way:

After Dollard — whose wife Gertrude, 78, was a passenger in the car — hit Palmer’s car, he lost control of his car, which continued on into Hamilton Square, crashing into a 2006 Chevrolet Silverado, driven by Daniel D. Moore III, 62, of Rensselaer, who was waiting to make a right turn out of the plaza.

Dollard’s car careened off of Moore’s truck, and traveled across Western Avenue toward Route 155, where it finally came to rest on an embankment.

The Westmere Fire Department, Western Turnpike Rescue Squad, and Guilderland Paramedics responded to the scene, and Westmere firefighter Michael Koff said all of the responders worked together like a “well-oiled machine.” (Koff works for The Enterprise as a photographer, but was on the scene in his role as a Westmere firefighter.)

Palmer and Moore, whose cars sustained damage, were able to get out of their cars on their own, although Palmer suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was taken to Albany Medical Center for treatment.

Mr. Dollard was helped from his car and placed on a stretcher, and Koff said he was conscious and talking to police before he was also taken to Albany Medical Center with non-fatal injuries.

Mrs. Dollard, however, suffered traumatic injuries, and had to be removed from the car through the driver’s side door, because the passenger side of the vehicle was crushed.

Koff said he was off to the side when the Westmere Fire Department first arrived, allowing the paramedics to do their work, when they asked a firefighter to come and help with cardiopulmonary resuscitation on Mrs. Dollard.

Koff quickly approached Mrs. Dollard on the stretcher, and applied chest compressions, while the paramedics intubated her. There was a lot of blood, said Koff, and her serious injuries were visually evident.

Mrs. Dollard was placed in an ambulance within minutes of being removed from the car, said Koff, and the paramedics stopped on Western Avenue to pick up a doctor who had been on-call.

At Albany Medical Center, Mrs. Dollard was pronounced dead at 2:55 p.m.

Koff said every responder did exactly what he or she were supposed to do, but Mrs. Dollard’s injuries were just too serious for resuscitation.

The Westmere Fire Department, Western Turnpike Rescue Squad, and Guilderland Paramedics will provide access to a counselor for any responders who need to talk about the accident and resulting death.

No charges have been filed, and alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the collision, according to Cox. The causing factor, he said, was Mr. Dollard’s failure to yield the right of way to Palmer.

Anyone who may have witnessed the accident is asked to call the Guilderland Police at 356-1501.


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