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One dead, five injured in Northway accident

WESTPORT - A one-vehicle accident along Interstate 87 near Westport left one woman dead and five others injured Sept. 4.

Sofia Strijevsky, 53, of Brooklyn, was pronounced dead at the scene after the 2001 Honda Odyssey minivan her husband, Grigory, 55, was driving veered off the northbound lane north of Exit 31 and overturned multiple times in the highway's median.

Numerous cell phone reports of the accident poured into the Essex County 911 Center in Lewis at approximately 10:15 a.m. State Police responded to the scene and located the minivan in the vicinity of mile marker 119.

Police diverted traffic from the northbound lane between Exits 31 and 32 for several hours as emergency services personnel responded to the accident.

Investigation at the scene revealed Sofia was a middle row passenger in the vehicle and was ejected as it rolled down the median's steep slope. Essex County Coroner Robert Huestis authorized removal of her body from the scene to Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake for an autopsy.

Other passengers in the minivan included 30-year-old Marina Suleymanov, 59-year-old Vera Zakurskaya, a six-year old female, and a three-year old female, all from Brooklyn. Along with the driver, they were transported to Elizabethtown Community Hospital for initial treatment. Suleymanov and Zakurskaya were later air-lifted to Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington, Vt. to be treated for critical injuries.

The driver and two children were transported to Fletcher Allen Health Care by ambulance for precautionary treatment for the driver. Though the six-year-old female was also ejected from the minivan, both children appeared to have only minor injuries, police said.

Investigation into the cause of the accident is ongoing and is being assisted by the State Police Troop B Collision Reconstruction Unit.

Further information on this story will be posted as it becomes available.

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