LAKE PLACID - Two men died and three women were airlifted to area hospitals after a head-on collision Saturday morning in the Wilmington Notch, on state Route 86 between Lake Placid and Wilmington.
The drivers of the two vehicles - 62-year-old Rene Castonguay of Quebec and 50-year-old Kevin Maras of Grand Island, near Buffalo - were both pronounced dead at the scene at 10:25 a.m. by Essex County Coroner Frank Whitelaw.
Three passengers in Maras’ 2016 Ford Flex SUV were taken to two different hospitals. State Police said Heather Maras, 51, was transported to the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington with head, neck and spinal injuries. Sierra Maras, 18, was taken to the same hospital with hip and leg injuries, and Ashley Maras, 16, was transported to the Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake with cuts on her face.
The collision happened around 9 a.m. Saturday. Castonguay was driving west on state Route 86, toward Lake Placid, in a 2013 Dodge Avenger, and Maras was traveling east when the two vehicles ran into each other head-on in the town of North Elba.
State police said Saturday night that they are still investigating the collision.
Route 86 between River Road and Fox Farm Road was temporarily closed due to the crash, NBC5 reported Saturday. Officials rerouted drivers, and the road had reopened by 4 p.m.
The coroner said autopsies are scheduled for both drivers Monday at Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital in Plattsburgh.