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Thruway crash in Chili kills a maintenance worker and seriously injures another employee

UPDATE: (as of Friday, 5/10/24) State Police have identified the Thruway Authority who was killed as 62-year-old Vincent Giammarva of LeRoy. The other worker, 58-year-old Mark Vara of Scottville is in critical condition at Strong Memorial Hospital.

Police say the investigation is ongoing, and no charges have been filed.

Original Story:

A crash on the Thruway in the town of Chili on Thursday afternoon killed one Thruway Authority maintenance worker and seriously injured another.

State Police say it happened just before 12:30 p.m. on the eastbound side of the highway when a tractor trailer driven by 64-year-old Thomas Lis of Central Square, New York, struck the two men who were in a work zone at the time.

One of the workers was a 62-year-old man who was pronounced dead at the scene. The other is a 58-year-old man who was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital where he was listed in critical condition. The two Thruway Authority employees have not been identified yet.

The investigation is ongoing, and no charges have been filed at this time. The accident caused the closure of a section of the eastbound side of the Thruway for several hours on Thursday between exit 46 in Henrietta and exit 47 in LeRoy.

A statement released by the Thruway Authority Executive Director, Frank Hoare, said that the agency’s maintenance employees “embody the heart and soul of this organization,” and he said that roadside workers risk their lives every day to ensure the safety of all drivers on the Thruway.

Gov. Kathy Hochul also issued a statement saying that the incident is a tragic reminder, and that all New Yorkers “should remain alert, slow down and move over when approaching a work zone or stopped vehicle.”

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.