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Home » Tompkins County » Ithaca » Teen killed, others seriously hurt after group steals SUV in Tompkins County: Deputy also hurt in crash after brief pursuit

Teen killed, others seriously hurt after group steals SUV in Tompkins County: Deputy also hurt in crash after brief pursuit

New York State Police and the State Attorney General’s Office are investigating a deadly crash involving a stolen vehicle.

It happened in Cortland County, according to first responders, who say they witnesses saw an SUV drive through a red traffic light at the intersection of State Route 281 and West Main Street in Cortlandville.


A traffic stop was attempted by a deputy. However, the operator of the SUV, not identified but said to be 15-years-old, fled and caused a crash between the two vehicles.

Troopers said the deputy’s vehicle and SUV both lost control and collided after failing to negotiate a turn onto I-81 in Homer.

The passenger in the SUV, identified as Salena Wallner, age 16, was killed in the wreck. She as pronounced dead at the scene. The driver, as well as two other passengers ages 15 and 16, were transported to a Syracuse hospital with serious injuries.

The deputy didn’t sustain any life-threatening injuries. He was transported to a local hospital.

Troopers say the vehicle was discovered to be stolen from the William George Agency for Children’s Services in Tompkins County shortly before the pursuit and crash.



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