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Monday, January 3, 2022

First Tragic Accident in GLOW Region for 2022:
Two sisters hit by car, one killed in Orleans' Eagle Harbor, Saturday night
By SCOTT DESMIT-sdesmit@batavianews.com

Two sisters walking on Eagle Harbor Road Saturday night were hit by a car, killing one of them, in a tragic start to the new year.

Orleans County Sheriff Christopher Bourke said this morning that the sisters, 18 and 13, were walking in the northbound lane at 8:46 p.m., something he said they commonly do.

A car traveling south struck both girls. Theresa M. Karlak, 18, was pronounced dead at the scene by Coroner Rocky Sidari. Her sister, 13, suffered minor injuries and was treated at the scene, Bourke said.

The driver of the car, Zackery Harding, 24, of Albion, had apparently driven around a car that had slowed down and was pulling over on the west shoulder of the road. Harding went around the car and into the other lane, striking the girls.

“It was a terrible, tragic accident,” Bourke said. “The conditions were very dark in that area. If he hadn’t pulled around the other car, they likely would not have been hit.”

He said the girls live nearby and commonly take walks to the canal. Saturday night saw heavy rain, that turned into sleet, ice and snow. Bourke said Harding was given field sobriety tests and a pre-screen test for signs of impairment.

“We ran him through the tests and have no indications of impairment,” Bourke said. A blood sample was taken, a routine procedure whenever there is a fatal accident.

The investigation is continuing and Bourke said more witnesses will be interviewed. Harding did have a passenger in his car at the time, his girlfriend, Bourke said. Neither was injured.

Sheriff’s deputies were assisted by the New York State Police Accident Reconstruction Unit, Albion Fire Department, COVA and the county coroner’s office.

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