UPDATE: Deadly crash in Town of Clay Wednesday evening

Local News

Updated 1:25 p.m. Thursday 5-20-21: The investigation showed that a 2013 Fiat 500, being operated by Valerie L. Schneller, age 61, from Liverpool, was traveling southbound on Route 481. A 2016 Ford Escape, being operated by Justin J. Maratea, age 40, was also traveling in the left-hand lane of Route 481 southbound, when his vehicle collided with the rear of Schneller’s vehicle. The force of the impact caused Schneller’s vehicle to roll over several times until it came to rest upright in the center median.

Schneller was transported to Upstate Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Maratea was also transported to Upstate Hospital for evaluation. He was issued an appearance ticket for Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs and is scheduled to appear in the Town of Clay Court on July 7.


CLAY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — A crash during the height of rush hour late Wednesday evening on Route 481 in the Town of Clay took the life of a woman.

According to Onondaga County Sheriff’s Deputies, the crash happened a little after 5 p.m.

Sheriff’s deputies responded to the area of Route 481 southbound, approximately 2 miles north of Caughdenoy Road, in the Town of Clay for a two-vehicle accident. Upon arrival, deputies discovered that one of the vehicles involved in the accident had rolled over several times and came to rest upright in the center median.

According to witnesses at the scene, the vehicle that had flipped over was stopped or slowing down in the left lane of the highway when it was struck in the rear by another vehicle. The drivers of both vehicles were transported by ambulance to Upstate Hospital.

The crash caused a more than 2-mile traffic back up, extending southward to Interstate 81. 

The highway was shut down for more than four hours before finally reopening around 9:30 Wednesday night. 

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