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TOWN OF NIAGARA – Judith B. Sparks, a longtime carrier for the Niagara Gazette died following an automobile crash on Porter Road late Tuesday. The cause of crash appears to be health related.

Sparks, 73, of the Town of Niagara, had been a carrier for the Gazette for more than 20 years, according to dispatchers at the paper. She had just returned to her route on Friday after recovering from heart surgery. She had contacted her customers to thank them for their get well wishes and to let them know she was back on the road. A dispatcher at the paper said Sparks was driving to the Niagara Gazette to pick up her papers prior to the crash.

Town of Niagara Police Lt. Kellie Aderman said Sparks’ 2012 Chrysler sedan veered off the roadway at 11:51 a.m. Tuesday in the 7100 block of Porter Road and hit an unoccupied, parked, 2004 Chevy sedan in the Jetport Restaurant parking lot, damaging the other car’s rear panel.

She said Sparks was taken to Mount St. Mary’s Hospital where she pronounced dead at 12:49 a.m. Wednesday.

Niagara County Coroner Richard W. Rutland confirmed Wednesday that the cause of death was health-related and not from the impact of the crash.