NY rescuers struggled to rescue, ID Amish victims

July 20, 2011 - 8:59 AM
Fatal Tractor Collision

Officials work the scene of a crash where police say a car passing a slow-moving farm tractor on a curve sideswiped an oncoming van carrying 13 Amish farmers, sending the van under the tractor, killing five passengers and injuring eight others plus the driver of the tractor, Tuesday, July 19, 2011, in Benton, N.Y. (AP Photo/Democrat & Chronicle, Jamie Germano) MAGS OUT; NO SALES

BENTON, N.Y. (AP) — The crash that killed five people in a van carrying Amish farmers in upstate New York took hours to untangle, as rescue crews labored to free people from the wreckage that was stuck under a tractor.

They also struggled to identify victims who typically don't carry identification.

Rescuers relied on a survivor and members of the Amish community to identify the dead and injured in Tuesday's crash.

Six people remain hospitalized Wednesday after the collision between a car passing the slow moving tractor and the van carrying 14 people touring rural Finger Lakes farms.

Yates County Sheriff Ronald Spike called it a horrific tragedy.

Steven Eldridge of Penn Yan, the car's driver, was arraigned after the crash on five counts of criminally negligent homicide, driving while intoxicated and other offenses.