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A bizarre and tragic crash on Delaware Avenue Friday morning tied up rush hour traffic in North Buffalo and continues to occupy Buffalo police investigators trying to piece together what happened.

A man driving a Cadillac Escalade died after his vehicle struck two other vehicles and crashed into an apartment building on Delaware Avenue.

The fatal incident occurred just after 8:15 a.m., when the unidentified driver, a 51-year-old Buffalo man, rear-ended another vehicle near Delaware and Linden Avenue, forcing the other vehicle off the road.

The Escalade continued on, traveling through the Great Arrow Plaza parking lot, and then hit another vehicle after it left the parking lot and was stopped at a red light on Great Arrow and Delaware, investigators said.

The Escalade then crashed into an apartment building at that same corner.

With the help of the jaws of life, Buffalo firefighters removed the driver of the Escalade, but he was declared dead at the scene.

Police said three other people involved in the accident, as well as a resident of the apartment building, suffered non-life threatening injuries.

Buffalo Fire Commissioner Garnell Whitfield estimated damage to the apartment building at $250,000. Apartment residents who were displaced were being assisted by the Red Cross and Crisis Services.

The investigation into the cause of the crash continues and an autopsy on the driver will be conducted.

Traffic on Delaware between Linden Avenue and Amherst Street was shut down or limited for most of the day, but was reopened to traffic at about 4:10 p.m.

email: pfairbanks@buffnews.com lmichel@buffnews.com