NORWALK - New York State Police say a Bridgeport mother and daughter were among those killed when a tractor-trailer struck their vehicle early Wednesday in Orange County.
Chopper 12 was above the scene on I-84 in Wawayanda, located about 60 miles northwest of New York City.
Police say the car involved had run out of gas and stopped in one of the driving lanes. They say the driver of that car, 29-year-old Jesenia Valentin, called 911 for help around 3:40 a.m. but was unable to give her exact location. She stayed on the line with the operator until the line went dead.
A tractor-trailer slammed into the back of Valentin's car, pushing it off the road and killing everyone inside. News 12 is told her 9-year-old daughter, Angelina Rodriguez, was in the back seat; an unidentified adult woman was in the front passenger seat; and two dogs were also in the car.
Police say the car's hazard lights were on, but the truck driver could not tell that the car was at a complete standstill. They also say that while there is not a large shoulder section in that area, drivers should try to move out of traffic when their vehicles break down.
"This tragedy illustrates how dangerous it is to leave your vehicle in the driving lanes of any roadway," says New York State Police Capt. Brendan Casey. "Motorists should make every effort to move their disabled vehicles off the roadway."
Police add that the tractor-trailer driver was not injured and will not be facing charges.