WATERLOO — An 18-year-old William Smith College student died as a result of a vehicle crash Friday afternoon, Sept. 10, on State Route 96 and Brewer Road, according to state police.
Veronica Ashby of New York City was a freshman at William Smith, Hobart and William Smith President Joyce Jacobsen wrote in an email sent to students and faculty Friday evening.
“It is with deep sadness that I write to report the death of Veronica Ashby, a member of the William Smith Class of 2025,” the email read. “Earlier this evening, Veronica was a passenger in a vehicle involved in an off-campus car accident. Although details about the accident are still emerging, as a community, we mourn her loss and send our sincere sympathies to her family and friends.
“Veronica was a graduate of Success Academy High School of the Liberal Arts in New York City.,” Jacobsen continued. “Although new to the Hobart and William Smith community, she had already made a profound impact on her peers and educators. They describe her as vibrant, insightful and joyful, a person who made friends easily, and who was very close to her family.”
Jacobsen concluded by informing students and faculty that counseling would be available for those seeking it. “I ask all of you to reach out to one another to offer comfort and support,” she wrote.
Success Academy is a New York City charter school that operates in 47 schools serving 23,000 students in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.
Ashby was a passenger in one of the vehicles involved in the accident that resulted in Route 96 and Brewer Road being shut down for several hours. The accident occurred right around rush hour, according to reports.
As of Sunday evening, there was no information available from the state police regarding the names of the other people involved in the crash or how it occurred. Troopers indicated on Friday that they were reconstructing the collision but have not said anything further.
Firefighters from Waterloo and Border City were called to the scene. Emergency medical staff were called from North Seneca, South Seneca, and Finger Lakes ambulance companies shortly after the accident.
It was initially described as a rollover crash with extrication necessary. Witnesses reported the car in which Ashby was a passenger collided with a dump truck.
A medical helicopter was requested to the scene, with a landing zone being established in Junius. Mercy Flight Central airlifted one person to Upstate University Medical Center in Syracuse, but it was not clear if it was Ashby or if there were other injuries.