Sunday, August 14, 2011

Horrific Albany Accident Has Local Connection

Errant Vehicle Kills 3 Women Outside Albany


Published: August 10, 2011
VOORHEESVILLE, N.Y. (AP) — An out-of-control S.U.V., its driver’s foot possibly stuck on the gas pedal, drove into a parking lot on Wednesday morning and killed three women in a walking group before crashing into a church, the police said.

The driver, Luann Burgess, 55, had just dropped off a foster child at an elementary school summer program. About 8:30 a.m., as she drove along the route she used every day, the vehicle accelerated off the road near St. Matthew’s Roman Catholic Church, said Craig Apple, the acting Albany County sheriff.

Ms. Burgess’s foot or flip-flop apparently interfered with the gas pedal, he said.

The vehicle, a 2007 Toyota Highlander, went through part of a parking lot and hit the women as they waited near the church for a companion, officials said. The S.U.V. continued 70 or 80 feet, dragging two women as it went under a covered church entryway, smashed iron railings and crashed into the brick wall of the bell tower ...

Ms. Burgess was being treated at Albany Medical Center for injuries that were not life-threatening.

David Soares, the county district attorney, said at the scene that it was too early to say whether Ms. Burgess would be charged ...

The three victims were part of a group of 40 or 50 on a guided walk organized by the Empire State Capital Volkssporters, which sponsors outings in the Albany-Troy-Schenectady area.

The victims were identified as Carol Lansing, 66, of Green Island, and Rosemarie Hume, 79, and Fran Pallozzi, 81, both of Waterford.

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