Two men in a fast-moving truck on Ridge Road in Newfane were killed when the driver lost control and the truck struck two trees near Hess Road, the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office said Sunday.
Investigators identified the men as Wesley Kovach, 21, and Caldon McCollum, 20, both of Gasport, where they grew up together, friends said. Kovach graduated from Akron High School in 2010, and McCollum from Clarence High in 2011.
The truck was traveling west at about 10 p.m. Saturday, authorities said, and failed to negotiate a curve, veering onto the north side of the road and hitting a mailbox and a small tree before striking a large tree and coming to rest.
The Sheriff’s Office said that it received numerous 911 calls about the incident but that nothing could be done after deputies arrived; both men were pronounced dead at the scene. Deputies still were investigating the crash Sunday.
Friends took to Facebook and Twitter to express their grief for the victims.
Freddy House, who said he had been good friends with Kovach since they were in sixth grade, played hockey with Kovach and used to ride dirt bikes with McCollum. House wanted to start a business with Kovach, fixing up and reselling cars.
“He had a lot going for him,” House said of Kovach, who was doing well as a mechanic. “They were both great kids.”
Ryan Payne, who remembered spending time with Kovach at Skateland in Lockport, called the accident “horrible.”
“Always had a blast with that kid,” Payne said. “He was the funniest and always knew how to make you laugh. I’m going to miss them a lot.”