According to Oneida County Sheriff Robert Maciol, on February 27, 2023, at approximately 7:25 A.M., Road Patrol Deputies responded to the intersection of Route 31 and Route 46 in the Town of Verona for reports of a personal injury motor vehicle accident involving two vehicles.

Upon arrival it was discovered that a 2014 Chevrolet Sedan being operated by Payton Burgess, 26 of Rome, NY struck the rear of a 2019 Hino Box Style truck, being operated by John A. Cotton Jr, 35 of Syracuse, NY. Both vehicles were traveling in an easterly direction on Route 31. Cotton Jr. denied having any injury at the scene. Burgess was airlifted by Mercy Flight to the Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, NY for potentially life-threatening injuries where he is currently listed in critical condition.

Upon further investigation by Sheriff’s Deputies, the Oneida County Criminal Investigation Unit, and Forensic Identification Unit, It was determined that the box style truck was sitting at the intersection while having a red traffic signal when the accident occurred.

The Oneida County Sheriff’s Office was assisted on scene by the Durhamville Fire Department, The Sylvan Beach Fire Department, Vineall Ambulance, Mercy Flight, and The New York State Police. During the investigation at the scene, a portion of Route 31 was closed and has now been re-opened for traffic.

The investigation into this accident is still ongoing.