On January 13, 2022, at 12:37PM, the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office responded to the intersection of State Route 96A and County Road 129 in the Town of Lodi, for the report of a multi vehicle accident with injuries and entrapment. Upon arrival, Deputies observed the first vehicle, a heavy duty tow wrecker towing a propane truck, being operated by Edwin R Compton, age 80 of 7455 State Route 89 Town of Ovid, with passenger Sharon Compton of the same address, blocking State Route 96A. The other involved vehicle, a 2010 Honda CRV being operated by Mary L. Church, age 79 of 7917 County Road 131, Town of Ovid, was located east of the accident scene in the north ditch of State Route 96A. Both the tow truck and the Honda CRV sustained severe damage. Church was entrapped in her vehicle as a result of the accident. South Seneca Ambulance, Trumansburg Ambulance, and Mercy Flight were called to the scene. Ovid, Interlaken and Lodi Fire Departments also responded and assisted with removing Church from her vehicle and assisted with roadway cleanup. Church was flown to Strong Hospital in Rochester by Mercy Flight with severe injuries, and later died as result of the accident. The operator and passenger of the tow truck were checked over at the scene by Trumansburg Ambulance. The Seneca County Sheriff’s Criminal Investigation Division and the Accident Reconstruction Unit responded, as well as New York State Police DOT.
During the investigation, and after speaking with witnesses, it was discovered that Compton was operating the heavy duty tow truck traveling East on ST RT 96A. Witnesses say that is when Church approached the intersection from the south, heading North on Townsendville Road. It is reported that Church stopped at the stop sign as required, but then as Compton approached the intersection with the right of way, Church then accelerated through the stop, directly in front of the heavy duty tow truck and was struck on the front driver’s side of her vehicle. Church’s vehicle was forced east, where it came to a rest in the ditch. The heavy duty tow truck then came to a stop in the roadway, with the propane truck ending up in the ditch.
The roadway was shut down for several hours as the investigation was conducted.
The investigation is continuing by the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division.