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WJTN News Headlines for Wed., June 22, 2022

Fiery tanker truck-pick-up truck crash sends both drivers to hospital...
Two men were taken to area hospitals following a fiery crash involving a tanker truck and a pick-up truck on the Route 20 overpass for the New York State Thruway in the town of Sheridan.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene -- near Aldrich Road -- shortly before 10 a.m., and, learned that a westbound van lost a rear wheel while driving on the bridge.  Deputies say the wheel struck an eastbound TPS Fuel Truck Fuel truck being driven by 30-year-old Jean Esquilin-Melendez of Dunkirk.  Officers say the tanker then struck the pick-up... driven by 40 year-old Herbert Overbeck of Silver Creek head-on.  The impact forced the TPS truck partially over the Thruway bridge... and both vehicles caught fire.  The tanker truck was carrying about 100 gallons of diesel fuel.  Overbeck was able to get out of the pick-up... and, was taken by a private vehicle to Brooks Hospital.  Deputies say Esquilin-Melendez was also able to get out of his truck... and, was flown to the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo for treatment of burns and other injuries.  Officers say the van driver continued on... and, tried to hide the van some distance away.  The driver fled, and, is still being sought by police.  Several fire and emergency crews responded.  The investigation is continuing.  Both the State Thruway and Route 20 in the area were closed while the scene was cleared.


One-car accident in Westfield injures three...
A single-car accident on Route 5 in the town of Westfield Tuesday afternoon left three people were hurt... one seriously.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene... near Eight Street... about 1:30 p.m.  Deputies say the investigation showed that 21 year-old Bisitt Welday of Roxbury, Mass., was driving eastbound when she lost control of the vehicle, and, it crashed.  Officers say a male passenger... 25 year-old Aman Asgedom of Roxbury, was taken to UPMC Hamot Medical Center in Erie for treatment of serious injuries.  Welday and a juvenile female were treated for minor injuries at the scene... and, later taken to Hamot.  She faces charges of speeding, failure to Keep Right, and Unlicensed Operator... and, was issued appearance tickets for Westfield Town Court.


Grand Opening held for new Americold cold storage facility in Dunkirk...
A number of elected and other officials turned out for a grand opening ceremony for Americold's newest cold storage facility on Williams Street in the town of Dunkirk.  Americold's Chief Commercial Officer Rob Chambers was among the speakers... and, called Tuesday an exciting day for them... and, their customers.  The 181,000 square foot facility will employ 60 new workers.  The head of the county's Industrial Development Agency, Mark Geise, called it a major investment of more than $40-million in the community.  The IDA... and, New York state are providing tax incentives to Americold as part of the project... and the New York Power Authority is providing lower-cost hydropower for the company.  County Executive P.J. Wendel says the project is exciting because it's also about a company helping a company.  He says Wells was commiting to using about 50% of the capacity at Americold... but, has now upped that to 90%.


JHS to have full graduation this Friday night at Chautauqua...
Jamestown High School had no formal commencement in 2020.  In 2021... a last minute lifting of COVID-19 restrictions meant most of the traditional Amphitheater ceremony could return.  However... this year faculty member and head of the student organization, Tony Dolce, says this Friday at 7 p.m., the 300 members of the JHS class of 2022 will get their diplomas at the Chautauqua Amphitheater... with full choir and band accompanyment.  When all the elements are present, Dolce believes the JHS commencement is unsurpassed.  The traditional baccalaureate service will be back this year as well, Thursday night at 7 p.m. at Sts. Peter and Paul Church. 


JHS Graduation Speaker announced...
A motivational speaker, strategist and social entrepreneur has been announced as Jamestown High School's Commencement Speaker this Friday night.  The Class of 2022 says Ally Company of Jamestown founder Katie Castro will deliver the address during the program at the amphitheater.  JHS Principal Dana Williams says Castro "exemplifies the idea of working together for the betterment of everyone.  She is a great role model for young people as they move on from high school and into their adult lives.”  Castro has also been a speaker and coach with Women Speakers Collective in Los Angeles, California and worked as a Strategic Lead for Boundless Communications in Toronto, Canada.  She holds a Master of Arts in Strategic Leadership from St. Bonaventure University near Olean.  Castro has also been the former Director of Mission at Conduit Ministries, co-founder of (Re)sisterhood, Chapter Founder of Brave Global and Board Chair at Community Helping Hands in Jamestown.


U.S. Senate negotiators reach agreement on compromise gun violence bill; vote could happen late this week...
Senate bargainers have reached agreement on a bipartisan gun violence bill.  That potentially tees up congressional passage this week on an incremental but notable package that would stand as Congress's response to mass shootings in Texas and New York that shook the nation.  Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., predicted Senate approval later this week, and passage by the Democratic-led House could follow quickly.  It would make background checks tougher for the youngest gun buyers and bolster spending for school safety and mental health programs, and bar gun ownership by romantic partners convicted of domestic abuse.