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Early morning crash claims life of Phoenix teen

— Onondaga County Sheriff deputies are investigating an early morning crash that claimed the life of a Phoenix teen.

At 2:52 a.m. Sunday, July 15, Sheriff’s deputies responded to Route 690 north, just south of Hencle Boulevard, where a 2007 Kawasaki motorcycle, operated by 19-year-old Joseph Rogala, crashed into a 2009 Kenworth tractor trailer, operated by Hezekiah Augstus Gray, 50, of Orlando, Fla.

Deputies investigating the crash report that Gray was attempting to travel south on Route 690 when he mistakenly turned onto the northbound lanes. Gray was in the process of making an illegal U-turn across the four lane section of the highway when Rogala approached the tractor trailer and crashed into the passenger side of the trailer. The motorcyclist was separated from his motorcycle upon impact, and the bike crossed the median before coming to rest in the southbound lanes of Route 690.

Fire and EMS personnel responded to the scene, and the motorcyclist was transported to Upstate University Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Gray was not injured.

Members of the Sheriff’s Accident Investigation Unit were called to investigate the incident and spent several hours processing the scene. Gray was issued traffic tickets for failure to obey a traffic control device, driving the wrong way on a one-way roadway, and making an improper U-turn. Sheriff’s Accident Investigators will continue their investigation and upon completion will be reviewed by the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office.

Gray is scheduled to appear in the Town of Lysander Court on Aug. 7.

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