West Potsdam firefighters reroute traffic at the intersection of County Routes 34 and 35 in West Potsdam on Oct. 4 due to a fatal car crash. Christopher Lenney/Watertown Daily Times

POTSDAM — An 11-year-old Waddington girl was killed Friday morning during a two-car crash at the corner of Route 345 and County Route 35, St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department said.

Rachel A. Raleigh, a student at Potsdam Central School District, was pronounced dead at the scene by County Coroner June Wood.

Miss Raleigh was a passenger in a vehicle driven by Benjamin R. Cochrane, 19, of 57 McGinnis Road, Waddington, police said.

Police said Mr. Cochrane was traveling east on Route 345 at about 6:57 a.m. when the passenger side door of his vehicle was struck by a motor vehicle driven by Brendan Palmer, 24, of 131 Maple St., Apt. 18, Potsdam.

Mr. Palmer was traveling north on County Route 35 when he failed to stop at the stop sign, causing him to collide with Mr. Cochrane’s car which rolled over several times before coming to rest in the field on the southeast shoulder, police said.

Mr. Cochrane was transported by Potsdam Rescue to Canton-Potsdam Hospital where he is being treated for fractures and a head injury. Mr. Palmer was also transported to CPH by Potsdam Rescue. He was treated for minor injuries and released.

Sheriff deputies were assisted at the scene by state police, Potsdam Fire Department, Potsdam Rescue, West Potsdam Fire, first responders, Madrid Fire and rescue, Canton Rescue and Norfolk Rescue.

Sheriff Kevin M. Wells said Miss Raleigh was attending Potsdam Central School District, but had moved to Waddington and was planning to transfer soon to Madrid-Waddington Central School.

The investigation is continuing.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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(1) comment


Your writer has the wrong photograph for the article. The accident happened at the intersection of County Route 35 and the Madrid Road 345, known locally as Burnham's Corners. Your photo is of the West Potsdam intersection of County Routes 34 & 35 and depicts an accident from a while ago. Both intersections are known for numerous accidents caused by driver error. So sad another life has been lost.

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