Jamesville Dewitt police are investigating a fatal single-car crash that occurred early Sunday morning in Jamesville, said chief of police Eugene Conway. There was one fatality, the driver of a stolen van registered to Catholic Charities, who has not been identified.
Police were dispatched at approximately 5 a.m. to East Seneca Turnpike, between Bamerick Road and Apulia Road, and found the van fully engulfed in flames. Members of the Jamesville Fire Department extinguished the fire to find the victim’s body inside the van.
An investigation found that the van was registered to Catholic Charities and was traveling east on East Seneca Turnpike when it left the roadway and crashed into a tree on the north side of the road.
According to Chief Conway, the van was stolen from 1654 W. Onondaga St., the location of Catholic Charities, during a burglary that occurred earlier in the night. The burglary was reported to Syracuse Police Sunday morning after DeWitt Police contacted Catholic Charities to notify them of their vehicle’s involvement in the accident.
Catholic Charities Associate Director Toni Maxwell told the Post-Standard that the agency interviewed those who supervised staff using the vans; she does not think a staff member stole the van or was in the vehicle when it crashed.
“This is such a worry to us,” Maxwell said. “We're pretty sure it's not an employee. It's such a sad situation.”
Due to the severity of the fire, identifying the victim will require assistance from the Medical Examiner’s Office, Conway said. The cause of the accident remains under investigation.
DeWitt Police investigators were at the scene last night along with members of the District Attorney’s Office and the Medical Examiner’s Office.