In the aftermath of a catastrophic New Year’s Day crash outside Rochester’s Kodak Center, a first responder remains hospitalized due to injuries sustained during a rescue attempt. Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Julie Purick and her partner, Davin Eshelman, bravely tried to save a victim from a burning vehicle during the incident.
Purick, a critical care paramedic, is currently in the hospital, conscious but mildly sedated, and communicating through writing and texting. Eshelman is recovering from smoke inhalation. Both were part of the initial ambulance crew responding to the scene.
The incident involved an SUV that crashed and caught fire, leading to three fatalities, injuries to nine concertgoers, and harm to the two paramedics. New video footage has emerged, showing the SUV in a parking lot shortly before the crash. Rochester Police Chief David Smith identified the driver as Michael Avery from Syracuse, noting Avery’s possible undiagnosed mental health issues and the absence of a suicide note.
The Rochester Police Department confirmed that the video shows the SUV involved in the crash. There is a 20-minute gap between the vehicle leaving the parking lot and the crash, which is still under investigation.
American Medical Response (AMR) Rochester, along with the union, is providing mental health support to employees, focusing on healing from both physical and emotional trauma. The community is now rallying to support the injured first responders, especially Purick, as she recovers from her injuries.
Geneva woman killed in deadly incident by Kodak Center in Rochester
Authorities have identified the two victims in this past weekend’s tragedy in Rochester.
Justina Hughes, 28, of Geneva and Joshua Orr, 29, of Webster were passengers in the rideshare vehicle that was struck by Michael Avery.
The collision was followed by a blaze, which engulfed the vehicles involved in the initial collision.
Additional information about the victims was not immediately available or released.
No link to terrorism, law enforcement officials say after deadly crash in Rochester
Law enforcement officials gave an update on the deadly incident near the Kodak Center in Rochester over the weekend that left three dead, including the perpetrator.
The suspect who drove an SUV into a rideshare vehicle has been identified as 35-year-old Michael Avery, a Syracuse-area man, who family says suffered from mental health issues.
A number of purported facts reported by the New York Post, Fox News, and CNN over the course of the last 48 hours were countered by law enforcement officials during a press conference on Tuesday. This includes reports that there was a suicide note found by law enforcement and the presence of an apparent journal.
National coverage of the incident was tipped off by the FBI’s involvement in the investigation, which included terrorism investigators.
Avery is said to have made at least a half-dozen purchases of gasoline at gas stations in Monroe and Ontario counties in the lead-up to the deadly incident.
Rochester Police Chief David Smith said preliminary investigation indicates Avery was working alone when he intentionally sped-up, crossed into oncoming traffic near the Kodak Center, and collided with the rideshare vehicle carrying three people.
The operator of that vehicle managed to escape. However, the two passengers did not. The total injury count has reached nine, according to Smith, who said motive for the incident remains unclear.
FBI officials said their involvement in incidents like this is standard, and will continue until its conclusion. All law enforcement officials said there are no active links to terrorism at this time.
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