Cops: Deadly Crash in Upstate NY May Have Been Terrorism

2 dead, 5 injured after collision outside Kodak Center in Rochester after NYE concert
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 2, 2024 8:33 AM CST
As Concert Let Out, One SUV Barreled Into Another
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/carlballou)

Two are dead and multiple people are injured after an early Monday car crash outside the Kodak Center in Rochester, New York—and authorities are now looking into the incident as possible terrorism, reports ABC News. Per the AP, police officers were helping to direct traffic outside the venue after a New Year's Eve concert featuring the band Moe had let out, when, at around 1am, a Ford Expedition slammed into a Mitsubishi Outlander that was serving as an Uber, according to a police statement.

"The force of the collision caused the two vehicles to go through a group of pedestrians that were in the crosswalk, and then into two other vehicles," Rochester Police Chief David Smith said at Monday news conference, per ABC. Smith added that it took the local fire department nearly an hour to put out the resulting fire from the crash, and that two passengers in the Uber died. The Uber driver was hospitalized with injuries but is expected to recover, as were two pedestrians who were hit in the crosswalk.

The driver of the Ford Expedition and another pedestrian were hospitalized with life-threatening injuries. What drew authorities' attention to a possible terror tie is that there were a dozen or more gas cans found in or near the Ford, according to Smith. The driver, reportedly from Syracuse, drove his own vehicle to the airport in his hometown, then rented the SUV, law enforcement officials tell ABC. Moe, which had performed at the venue before the crash, issued a statement afterward expressing their "profound shock and sadness," per WHAM.

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"On a night that was meant for celebration and togetherness, we are faced instead with a tragedy that defies understanding," the group wrote Monday on social media. Rochester Mayor Malik Evans asks anyone who might have information about the collision or the driver of the Ford to call 911, per the Democrat and Chronicle. "No piece of information is too small," he says. In the meantime, Smith says his department is working with the FBI in its investigation. (More car crash stories.)

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