2 killed, 4 injured in I-81 crash

N.J. driver loses control of his minivan


Bob Ellis/staff photographer         
Blankets and other debris lie in the roadway as Cortland County Police Officer Kelly Ryan looks over an overturned Toyota Sienna Sunday night on Insterstate 81 northbound at the Exit 9 offramp. The southbound vehicle went off the east side of the roadway, into the median where it rolled over, landing in the northbound lanes. The crash killed two people and injured four others.

Staff Reporter

MARATHON — A one-car accident on Interstate 81 Sunday night killed two of the passengers and injured the other four, according to State Police.
The driver, Rajbhinder Badesha, 50, of 5 Canter Drive, Burlington N.J., lost control of his gray 2003 Toyota Sienna while traveling southbound on Interstate 81 near Exit 9. The van rolled across the median and came to rest upside down in the northbound lane about 50 yards south of the northbound exit ramp.
Badesha was flown to Wilson Memorial Regional Medical Center in Johnson City, and was in the Intensive Care Unit there this morning.
State Police Investigator Jeff Hall said that there were no witnesses to the crash, although several 911 calls reported the accident after it occurred.
There was no indication that either a second vehicle or alcohol had been involved, Hall said.
State Police said today that Sukhir S. Badesha, 17, of 5 Canter Drive, Burlington, N.J., was riding in the front passenger seat of the vehicle when he heard a loud noise that sounded like it came from a back tire. He said his father then lost control of the vehicle.
Badesha was flown to Wilson Memorial, where he was treated for minor injuries and released.
Marathon emergency medical services Lt. Mike Clark said the initial call from a passerby came in at 8:42 p.m. and emergency personnel were dispatched two minutes later. Two _out-of-town paramedics who were passing through stopped and helped assess the situation, Clark said.
Some of the passengers were ejected from the minivan, Clark said, and one of the victims was pinned underneath it.
The body of Ravinder Bajwa, 43, of Springfield, Pa., was covered in a bright yellow blanket and rested about 15 feet behind the overturned car, after being thrown from the wreck. Police said there were no seat belt marks on the man’s body.
Jagit Pandhar, 48, of 26 Hampton Lane, Willingboro, N.J., was flown to Wilson Memorial, where he was pronounced dead.
State police said that Jagwinder Singh, 45, no address given, suffered a broken jaw, broken ribs and fractured sternum in the crash. He was listed in serious condition this morning in University Hospital in Syracuse.
Bhagwant Singh, 50, of 25 Theo Court, Burlington, N.J., was also injured and listed in fair condition this morning in University Hospital.
Clark said that because of the nature of the accident, all patients were treated as critical. The four survivors were all in a condition to talk, but only Sukhir Badesha was able to speak English, and did much of the translating for the rest in regards to injuries, Clark said. All of the passengers in the car had been male and held Middle Eastern passports.
Three survivors were transported by helicopter to Wilson Memorial and two were flown to University Hospital, Hall said. Two of the survivors were walking around after the accident, Hall said, which he attributed to the use of seat belts.
All of the glass in the vehicle had been smashed and had fanned out north of the overturned minivan.
The vehicle came to rest on the white painted median leading to the Exit 9 northbound ramp, about 60 yards from where the ramp separated from the main road. The vehicle had New Jersey license plates.
Suitcases bulged from the back hatch of the rumpled minivan, and a backpack and several brightly colored blankets were scattered around the accident scene. A pillow and some magazines rested on the pavement where sawdust had been poured out to soak up spilled gasoline.



Show dogs get the royal treatment, even on the road


Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Bob Klinetop of Phoenix catches a few winks Saturday with his dog Nia, a Vizsla Hungarian retriever, at the Central New York Shetland Sheepdog Trials at Dwyer Memorial Park in Little York.

Staff Reporter

LITTLE YORK — Bob Klinetop’s dogs are so used to traveling, they go into their crates without a fight.
“The crate is more like a home so it’s not a punishment,” he said. “It means they’re going somewhere.”
Klinetop, 53, of Phoenix, was one of scores of dog owners at the dog agility trial in Dwyer Memorial Park at Little York Lake in Homer on Saturday and Sundy whose dogs are used to hitting the road.
Dogs get used to nights in hotels, drive-through restaurants and car rides across the state or even country, and their owners get used to treating them royally.
Terry Brown, 35, of Syracuse, takes his Siberian husky to hotels pretty often, he said. Like most other dogs that travel frequently, he knows the ropes, Brown said.
“Usually these dogs are good with hotels and traveling,” he said. “So the dogs are welcome back.”
The dogs are so respectful that hotel managers often prefer them to humans, Brown said. They don’t party and a make a mess.
“We’re not their main worry,” he said.
Helen Smith, 47, of State College, Pa., said dogs that compete, such as her Samoyed husky, are so well traveled they can even get used to staying at certain hotels.
“There are certain (motels) that have a reputation for dogs: Red Roof, Motel 6 ... “ she said. “So you call them.”
Renae Lee, the front desk clerk at Comfort Inn in Cortland, said about four or five dogs stayed at her hotel over the weekend. Over the years the trained dogs have caused few problems, she said.
“We have had just a couple of complaints,” she said.
The dogs also get used to going to restaurants and passing through restaurant drive-throughs.
Although dogs are unwelcome in restaurants, their restaurant-bound owners don’t altogether abandon them.
Jeanette Flannagan, 49, of Tully, has seven Shetland sheepdogs. Even though she’ll leave them in the car during competition weekends to go to a restaurant, they’re still safe, she said.
“We like to sit where we can see them,” she said.
She also will put fans on the dogs’ crates and tarps over the crates to protect the dogs from the heat and sun.
Ann Marie Letto, 40, of North Syracuse, also sits at a restaurant table where she can see her dogs. She cares so much about her five Shetland sheepdogs she’d save one before her car, she said.
“So someone can steal my car but my dog is safe,” she said.
Diane Fuller, 45, of Chittenango, said she will leave her two Shetland sheepdogs in the car to go to restaurant if the weather is not too hot. But she prefers to get takeout so she can stay with them, she said.
Not only are show dogs used to hotels and trips to restaurants, they’re also used to long rides in the car.
Lesa Steele, 42, of Mohawk, said she tries to make her seven Shetland sheepdogs as comfortable as she can. She attaches bungee cords to their crates so they won’t be shoved around. She will blow air conditioning on them and not on herself, she said.
“Because dogs are more important,” she said.



Biker loses leg in crash

Staff Reporter

SUMMERHILL — Two men collided while riding their motorcycles Saturday night, leaving one rider in critical condition and the other without a left leg.
According to State Police, Michael K. Brotherton, 46 of 71 Ringwood Road, Dryden, was traveling west on Route 90 in Summerhill around 8:45 p.m. when he slowed down to turn left onto Champlin Road. Police said as Brotherton was making the turn, Reginald L. Goodnow, 40, of 775 Route 3, Westmoreland, N.H., struck Brotherton, severing Brotherton’s left leg.
Goodnow, his motorcycle and Brotherton’s leg all slid down Route 90 before coming to a stop on the south side of the road, police said.
Goodnow and Brotherton had both been participating in the same “poker run” riding event at whcih participants collect playing cards at various stops and compare hands at the end, police said. According to police, Brotherton admitted to drinking with Goodnow during that day.