Port Henry woman dies in Northway fatal in Lewis

Sep. 5—LEWIS — A Port Henry woman was killed after a driver went the wrong way on Interstate 87 Monday night and crashed into the vehicle she was riding in.

Kathy J. Groshans, 47, of Port Henry died when the black 2019 Dodge Ram truck her husband, Dale N. Groshans, 66, of Port Henry was driving was hit head-on by the wrong-way driver, Brian M. O'Leary, age 37, of East Millinocket, Maine.

The Groshans' two grandchildren, boys, ages 4 and 7 years old, who were in the back seat, were also injured.


State Police said that around 7:43 p.m., they got a call about a pickup truck going the wrong way on Interstate 87, also known as the Adirondack Northway, in the Town of Lewis in Essex County.

O'Leary was driving a silver 2019 Ford F150 truck the wrong way, northbound in the southbound lanes, police said.

Troopers attempted to initiate a traffic stop on the vehicle and O'Leary failed to comply, resulting in a pursuit, police said.

The pursuit came to an end when O'Leary's vehicle struck Groshans' vehicle head-on, police said.


Dale Groshans was transported to University of Vermont Medical Center at Champlain Valley Physician's Hospital (CVPH) in Plattsburgh by ambulance and later transported to University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington for a head injury. He was listed in stable condition.

The 4-year-old and 7-year-old males were transported by ambulance to CVPH, and later flown by helicopter to University of Vermont Medical Center for internal injuries. Both children were listed in stable condition.

O'Leary was transported by ambulance to CVPH and later flown by helicopter to University of Vermont Medical Center, sustaining life-threatening injuries. O'Leary suffered head trauma and internal injuries and is listed in very critical condition, police reported.

Police are investigating whether drugs may have been involved in the cause of the crash.

Southbound lanes were closed between exits 33 and 32 for several hours. A traffic diversion was in place at exit 33 while accident reconstruction, vehicle recovery, and clean-up efforts took place.

Kathy J. Groshans was pronounced deceased at the scene by an Essex County coroner.

On Wednesday, an autopsy will be conducted at Glens Falls Hospital by pathologist Dr. Michael Sikirica to determine the cause of death for Kathy Groshans.


Eliza Boyea, Kathy's daughter, wrote a heartfelt tribute to her mother on Facebook Tuesday morning.

"If there's anything that was ever unfair in life, it would be this, one thousand times over mom... I'll miss braiding your hair, when you would get ready to leave, I always rushed you a little too much, because now the time with you is gone," Boyea wrote.

"You LOVED your grand babies more than life itself, and they loved you just as much in (I'm) sorry that this happened to you mom, I'm thankful that the kids and dale are okay but I need you, isn't there a way to bring someone back?"

Under Executive Law Section 70-b, the New York State Attorney General's Office is investigating the incident in conjunction with the New York State Police and the Essex County District Attorney's Office.

Anyone with information regarding the collision is asked to contact New York State Police at 518-873-2750.

State Police were assisted at the scene by Troop B Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Troop B CRU (Collision Reconstruction Unit), Essex County Sheriff's Department and multiple local fire and rescue departments.

E-mail: jlotemplio@pressrepublican.com

Twitter: @jlotemplio