Off-duty firefighter responds to tragic Alt. Route 7 crash


COLONIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The woman accused of vehicular manslaughter pleaded not guilty in court Thursday afternoon.

Police say Jessica Bellerose, 41, was charged with felony vehicular manslaughter, and driving while intoxicated in the fatal motor vehicle crash that killed a teen on alternate Route 7.

She was also charged with two traffic violations of failure to keep right and moving from lane unsafely.

Bellerose was released from Albany Medical Center Hospital on Thursday, and taken into custody.

On Wednesday, a volunteer firefighter says one local store didn’t have what he needed so he drove to another, which is the only reason why he ended up on alternate Route 7 Tuesday night at the exact time the four-car crash unfolded.

route-7-colonie-accident-2He says he rushed to the scene to try and help.

“The dust was flying and all you could see was the headlights going around in a circle when it started pin balling off of other vehicles,” Former Raymertown fire chief Edwin Roberts said.

The former fire chief says he witnessed the horrific crash while driving home on alternate Route 7 Tuesday night.

State Police say, Bellerose of Troy, struck one vehicle on the eastbound side and then crossed the median and struck two more vehicles.

Roberts says he quickly pulled over and ran to a car that was on fire.

“The fire was getting larger quick as it was spewing oil being upside down,” Roberts explained.

His firefighting instincts kicked in.

“That’s all I had with me to cut the seat belts,” Roberts said. “Just a little pocket knife.”

The woman was trapped inside, and another passerby rushed over to help.

“He was the one that found a piece of metal and smashed the window and from there, we were able to get the door pried open,” Roberts added. “I had one arm under her cutting the seat belt with the other hand and lowered her down.”

After the woman was pulled to safety, Roberts ran to check on another driver.

“At that time, I realized that the driver of that vehicle was deceased,” Roberts said.

Sadly, State police say 18-year-old Paige Ahearn was pronounced dead on scene.

State police say Bellerose was taken to the hospital for a head injury.

The investigation is continuing at this time.

Paige’s obituary was posted on the Brendese funeral home.

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