Webster PD shares details of Gasberry Lane crash
Superintendent of Schools: ‘As educators and parents, we hope we never get that phone call’
Webster, NY - The Webster Police Department held a press conference earlier today to discuss the findings of the investigation involving the fatal car accident that took place earlier this month on Gasberry Lane in Webster.
Webster teen Brody D. Spade was killed as a result of the crash.
There were five other passengers who survived the accident, but suffered minor-to-serious injuries and are still recovering.
Webster PD said the investigation found that excessive speed and alcohol consumption were contributing causes of the crash. The exact outcome of the toxicology report was not shared, but Gretchen O'Dea, WPD investigator and public information officer, did say that the result was “in excess of two times the legal limit.”
At about 1:05 a.m. on Nov. 1, Webster police officers responded to the area of 712 Gasberry Lane for the report of a one-car vehicle crash. Upon arrival, officers found the car had crashed head-on into a tree, and the engine compartment was on fire.
According to Webster Police Chief Joseph Rieger, a “Good Samaritan” had already assisted in removing all six occupants from the vehicle upon police arrival. He did not identify this individual.
All six occupants were treated at local hospitals. Spade, 18, of Webster, was identified as the driver of the vehicle. The other occupants were ages ranging 16-18.
Spade was pronounced deceased at the hospital about two hours after the accident.
During the course of the investigation, Chief Rieger said it was discovered that the group of teens had just left an underaged drinking party in Webster just prior to the accident.
WPD followed up on several leads pertaining to the party to discover who hosted it. The person was found to be a juvenile, so WPD will not be releasing the individual’s identity, nor the location of the party.
Charges were pressed against the individual who hosted the party. There were no charges pertaining to the crash itself.
It was also determined that the adults living at the home where the party took place were not present at the time and were unaware of it.
According to O’Dea, based on the findings of the investigation, WPD referred the family of the juvenile who hosted the party to family court, and they do not anticipate any additional charges.
Evidence revealed that only one person in the vehicle was wearing a seat belt. Chief Rieger said the failure to use seat belts contributed to the severity of the injuries suffered.
The one person in the vehicle who was wearing a seat belt suffered the most severe injuries out of the five injured. However, the people in the back seat who were not wearing seat belts contributed to the severity of the injuries of both themselves and of the other people in the car, according to O’Dea’s speculations.
“This case highlights the dangers of driving [excessively over the speed limit], the dangers of driving after consuming alcohol, and having more people in the car than the car is designed to have,” Chief Rieger stated.
He added, “We are asking young people in our community to please be cautious and make good decisions when socializing with friends. Please do not drink and drive, and if you find yourself in this type of position, find a ride home from someone else.”
Chief Rieger reminds parents to have conversations with their teenagers about driving and passenger safety. These conversations should include highlighting the dangers of:
Excessive speeding and unsafe speed conditions
Inattentiveness and distractions
Failure to yield the right of way
Following other vehicles too closely
Not wearing a seat belt
Not being extra cautious when driving at night
“The men and women of the Webster Police Department wish to express our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Brody, who died as a result of this crash,” Chief Rieger stated. “We ask everyone to keep Brody and his family in their thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”
He added, “We are also hoping for a full recovery for the other five who were involved in this crash.”
When asked whether any fatal teen accident prior to this one has ever happened in Webster, O’Dea says she has investigated other fatal vehicle accidents in the past, “But I don’t recall one off the top of my head involving all students that was a fatality.”
It is speculated that one person involved in the accident was not a student within the Webster Central School District. The other occupants were a combination of current Webster students and Webster alumni.
Spade was a Webster alumnus.
“It’s actually the worst part of any educator’s job… when you get that phone call,” commented WCSD Superintendent Carmen Gumina, who was also present at the press conference.
Gumina added, “It takes a toll, not only on the families - and Brody’s family… I can’t even express what they have to be going through - but it takes a toll on the friends, on the teachers, and on the entire community.”
As much as parents and educators may teach their teenagers how to be safe, Gumina said, “Sometimes our messages don’t get through.”
O’Dea requested that the community respect the privacy of Spade’s family as they mourn their loss, “which is especially hard around the holidays,” she commented.
She also advised that people be respectful and considerate with their comments on social media.
“I’m not here to tell people what to say or what not to say on social media, but I would ask that people be courteous to the family, and again just be respectful that they have just suffered a significant loss,” said O’Dea. “This is going to be with them for the rest of their lives.”
A small memorial was put together by the Webster community at the tree on Gasberry Lane where the accident took place.