TORREY — “This could have been a real tragedy.”
Those were the words of Yates County Sheriff Ron Spike on Monday speaking about a one-vehicle crash last Sunday night in which five young men were injured — but none critically. The driver was later arrested for driving while intoxicated and could face more serious charges.
Spike said the crash happened just after 10 p.m. on Route 54 in Torrey, just east of Ridge Road. The driver, 22-year-old Kyle Hayes of Barrington, went off the highway and hit a utility pole and electric fence.
Spike said the vehicle rolled over at least once before ending up in a field about 500 feet off the road. Four passengers in the vehicle, who were not wearing seat belts, were ejected.
They are 20-year-old Kalib Hayes of Barrington, 22-year-old Jacob Hoover of Benton, 21-year-old Nicholas Hoover of Benton, and 23-year-old Eric Gifford of Torrey.
The crash resulted in a large emergency response, including sheriff’s deputies, state police and Penn Yan police. Also responding were the Dresden and Himrod fire departments and four ambulances — two from Penn Yan and one each from Finger Lakes Ambulance and Gorham.
“When I got a call from the scene, the deputies were very concerned on a couple of the injuries,” said Spike, adding that despite the passengers being ejected none of the injuries turned out to be life threatening.
The injured were taken to local hospitals.
Spike added that while the road conditions were wet and windy, impaired driving was the biggest contributing factor for the driver losing control of the vehicle. He said the investigation continues and more charges are pending.
“All are very lucky their injuries were not worse,” he said.