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Herkimer teenager killed after car hits tree in Schuyler, two others injured

By ANDREW DONOVAN

SCHUYLER, N.Y. (WKTV) - A teenager from Herkimer is the victim of Friday night's fatal car accident that took place on McKennan Road after the driver of their car lost control of the vehicle and struck a tree.

New York State Police say that 16-year-old Katelynn Sweet, of Herkimer, was the front seat passenger and was pronounced dead at the scene. Herkimer County Coroner Brian Roberts said an autopsy was scheduled for Saturday at Little Falls Hospital.

17-year-old Karissa Lavine, of Frankfort, suffered multiple internal injuries and was airlifted to Albany Medical Center, according to State Troopers. She is listed in critical condition. She was the rear-seat passenger.

The driver, 18-year-old Haley Shepard of Ilion, was sent to St. Elizabeth Medical Center for non-life threatening injuries.

The accident took place on McKennon Road at around 10:40 p.m, in-front of house number 370. The tree was snapped in half due to the collision. The cause of the accident is still under investigation, according to New York State Police.

New York State Police investigators were still on the scene early Saturday morning to reenact exactly what could have happened. Troopers were using their own vehicles to test the possible speed the car was traveling at, using skid marks it left on the roadway.

Schuyler Fire Chief Robert Reska said that extra blood was brought to the scene from St. Elizabeth Medical Center, which is unprecedented. He said hospital administrators were woken up to approve the request.

He also added that an in-flight surgeon came on the helicopter that transported Lavine, which does not typically occur.

A man claiming to be one of the female's fiances came to the scene looking for information. It is not clear which of the women was his fiance.

First responders said the car was badly damaged and wrapped around the tree, but fire crews used the jaws of life which made the car's condition look even worse.

Schuyler, Frankfort and East Herkimer Fire Departments all responded, along with New York State Police.

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