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Deputies give update on fatal multi-vehicle wreck in Seneca County that killed longtime teacher

The Seneca County Sheriff’s Office has provided more information on the fatal crash that claimed the life of a longtime South Seneca Central School District educator.

According to a news release, deputies responded to the intersection of State Route 96A and County Road 129 in Lodi for the report of a multi-vehicle wreck with injuries and entrapment.


According to deputies, they observed one vehicle- a heavy duty tow wrecker pulling a propane truck, being operated by Edwin Compton, 80, of Ovid, with passenger Sharon Compton, blocking Route 96A.

The other involved vehicle, a 2010 Honda CRV operated by Mary Church, 79, of Ovid was located east of the accident scene int he north ditch on Route 96A.

Both the tow truck and the SUV sustained severe damage.


Church was trapped in her vehicle as result of the crash. South Seneca Ambulance, Trumansburg Ambulance, and Mercy Flight assisted from the scene, while firefighters from Ovid, Interlaken, and Lodi did the same.

Church was airlifted to Strong Memorial Hospital by Mercy Flight with severe injuries and ultimately succumbed to them.

The operator and passenger of the tow truck were checked over at the scene by Trumansburg Ambulance. The Seneca County Sheriff’s Criminal Investigation Division and the Accident Reconstruction Unit responded, as well as New York State Police DOT.


During investigation it was discovered that Compton was operating the heavy duty tow truck, traveling east on Route 96A. Witnesses said Church stopped at the stop sign as required, but as Compton approached the intersection with the right of way- she accelerated through, directly in front of the tow truck.

The truck collided with the driver’s side of the SUV.

Deputies say the road was shut down for hours as crews worked the scene. The investigation remains active at this time.



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