Fatal crash near Kodak Center: Tragedy struck in the aftermath of a New Year’s Eve celebration at the Kodak Center as a fatal crash unfolded on West Ridge Road, claiming the lives of two individuals and injuring five others. Police have officially identified the two victims have been named as 28-year-old Justina Hughes from Geneva and 29-year-old Joshua Orr from Webster.
The incident, which occurred on New Year’s Day, shocked the community, prompting a closer examination of the harrowing events surrounding the crash that resulted in the loss of lives and left several others injured.” Read ahead to learn more details about the victim Justina Marie Hughes and the whole incident.
Tragic New Year’s Day Crash Claims Two Lives, Injures Five
In the aftermath of a New Year’s Eve concert at the Kodak Center in Rochester, New York, a devastating crash unfolded, resulting in the loss of two lives and injuries to five individuals. The incident, occurring early on New Year’s Day, involved a collision between a Ford Expedition and a Mitsubishi Outlander, which tragically led to a chain of events impacting pedestrians and causing chaos near the venue.
At approximately 12:50 a.m., a Ford Expedition traveling east on West Ridge Road collided with a Mitsubishi Outlander exiting a parking lot, resulting in the fatalities of two adults within the Mitsubishi.
The Ford’s driver sustained life-threatening injuries and was rushed to Strong Memorial Hospital, while the Mitsubishi’s driver received non-life-threatening injuries and was taken to Rochester General Hospital.
The impact of the collision propelled both vehicles into a group of pedestrians, causing injuries to three individuals. One pedestrian suffered critical injuries and was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital, while the other two sustained non-life-threatening injuries.
Reports indicated that one of the involved vehicles exploded following the crash, posing further threats to bystanders and law enforcement. A harrowing situation unfolded as a police officer and numerous pedestrians narrowly avoided being struck by the vehicles.
Police have now confirmed the identities of the two victims who tragically lost their lives in the fiery New Year’s Day crash outside the Kodak Center. Justina Hughes, aged 28 and from Geneva, and Joshua Orr, aged 29 from Webster, were passengers in a rideshare vehicle involved in the collision.
Authorities have revealed that the driver responsible for the crash was 35-year-old Michael Avery from Syracuse. Avery was driving a rented vehicle carrying multiple gas cans.
In a chilling sequence of events, Avery accelerated toward pedestrians leaving a concert at the Kodak Center, resulting in a collision that caused a devastating explosion. The resulting inferno required over an hour for emergency crews to extinguish.
Regrettably, Avery succumbed to his injuries at the scene. Additionally, nine other pedestrians suffered injuries in the incident, with one individual experiencing life-altering harm.
Justina Hughes, 28, and Joshua Orr, 29 are the two victims in the first vehicle that was struck outside Kodak Center. Both Hughes and Orr have, tragically, passed away.
— Jackie Napier (@TheJackieNapier) January 2, 2024
Statement from the family of Justina Hughes
The family of Justina Marie Hughes conveyed their sentiments following the tragic loss of their beloved on Tuesday evening.
Justina was our family’s beautiful free spirit and she was loved by all of us beyond measure. She had an old soul and cared deeply for her family and friends. She was a talented artist who loved nature and took every opportunity to hike a new trail and find a new waterfall. And oh how she loved music. It was the passion that gave her the most joy. We take peace in knowing that Justina and her very best friend, Josh, spent their last moments together, enjoying their passion and friendship. We also take comfort in knowing that many other lives were saved because they became, albeit unaware, a shield for others. And because of that, they will forever be heroes. We ask that you take a moment to reflect on the young lives that were taken away from their families and friends. Please respect our wishes to grieve and mourn this devastating loss of privacy.
Investigation and Revelations:
Law enforcement disclosed that the Ford Expedition’s driver, hailing from Syracuse, had rented the vehicle from the Syracuse Airport. Additionally, authorities confirmed that Mitsubishi was affiliated with the rideshare service Uber.
Notably, the presence of multiple gasoline canisters within and around the Ford Expedition prompted the intervention of the Rochester Police Department Bomb Squad and the Joint Arson Task Force.
Collaborative Efforts and Road Closure:
In response to the concerning discoveries, law enforcement initiated collaboration with federal agencies, including the FBI, to delve into the circumstances leading to this tragic crash. A segment of West Ridge Road near the Kodak Center remained closed as authorities meticulously investigated the scene.
The collision outside the Kodak Center on this New Year’s Day has left the Rochester community reeling from the loss of lives and grappling with the repercussions of the disturbing series of events that transpired amid the celebrations. Authorities continue their intensive efforts to ascertain the full scope and causes behind this tragic incident.
“Community Mourning: Tributes to Justina Hughes and Joshua Orr”
Zack Slutzky shared:
“This is devastating news about Josh Orr and Justina Marie Hughes. I’m at a loss for words. I have so many cherished memories with my friend Josh dating back to around 2010… Both of them were such free-spirited and kind individuals, simply amazing people. They always supported me and made efforts to reconnect over the years, but unfortunately, we hadn’t managed to meet up lately. This loss hits hard. Rest in peace to both of you. 🙏😔💔”
Wil McKenna expressed:
“I’m speechless after learning about Justina Marie Hughes’ involvement in the tragic accident at the Kodak Theater on New Year’s Eve. I met her as an enthusiastic supporter of live music in the Rochester scene some time ago. She was also part of a special group of fans and friends who participated in our Medicinals music video shoot for “Love the Sound” last summer. I’m grateful we had the chance to spend time together, discussing music, life, and family that day. Fly high and rest peacefully Queen 🕊️.”
Elyse Bannon wrote:
“My daughter-in-law, Lea O’Connell, lost her sister in the early hours of New Year’s Day. Justina Marie Hughes, only 28 years old, the same age as my son, Jay, who is Lea’s husband. Please keep them, their mom, Carrie Roach, Justina Marie Hughes’ twin sister Jessie Anne Hughes, and their entire family in your thoughts and prayers. My heart breaks for all of them.”
Madaline Severance said,
“Justina Marie Hughes was one of the kindest girls I’ve had the pleasure of befriending. I’m deeply sorry you were taken from us too soon. Thank you for the laughter and the times we spent dancing around downtown and on our adventures. Your presence brought so much joy to my life. Thank you for the wonderful days; may you rest peacefully, beautiful ❤️.”
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Lavanya (Senior Editor) is a full-time content writer with almost 5 years of experience and a part-time teacher. She joined Medico Topics on the Breaking News trainee scheme in 2022 and now works on MedicoTopics.com. As a lifelong learner, She is constantly curious about learning new things and passionate about sharing knowledge with people through her writing and teaching.