Orange plastic netting is attached to what’s left of a section of guardrail that separates Humboldt Parkway from the expressway below.
Normally, the guardrail prevents cars from crashing through and landing on traffic on the Kensington Expressway.
But early Saturday, it did not stop the driver of a car that shattered the guardrail and plummeted onto a concrete Jersey barrier on the Kensington below.
The car, which was traveling at a high rate of speed, landed on its roof and burst into flames, Buffalo police said.
By Saturday afternoon, Shareese Works was at the scene of the crash, overlooking the Kensington and the charred remains of the crash. Two large soot stains on the Jersey barrier showed where the car hit and exploded, she said.
“I just came to see what happened, to see what his last moments were like,” said Works of her boyfriend, Kevin Wayne Brown, 47, who she said was behind the wheel of the car.
Police, however, have yet to release the identity of the victim.
Investigators said it appears the grisly drama began at about 1:30 a.m., when two vehicles were racing along Main Street and the ill-fated car went the wrong way on Woodlawn Avenue, burst through the guardrail and fell onto the Kensington.
“The vehicle was traveling at an extremely high rate of speed,” Senior Accident Investigator Martin Forero said.
Emergency crews attempted to free the driver from the wreckage but authorities said he died at the scene.
Police have questioned and released the other driver in the race but are not releasing an identity.
No charges have been filed, pending an investigation by the Erie County District Attorney’s Office, police officials said.
At the crash site Saturday afternoon, Works was trying to make sense of the tragedy as she clutched a piece of the black BMW that Brown drove.
“I don’t know why he went back out,” she kept saying.
The couple lived on Winslow Avenue, around the corner from the crash site, for the past few years, she said.
Just hours before the fatal crash, the two had gone to the Tralf in the BMW, she said.
At about 11 p.m. Friday, Brown dropped Works off at their home, then got into another car his cousin was driving.
The cousin dropped Brown off at the house at about 1 or 1:15 a.m. A few minutes later, Brown left out the house again, this time driving the BMW, Works said.
She said she awoke at about 4:30 a.m. and wondered why Brown was not home.
It wasn’t like him, she added.
It was not until Brown’s daughter, Kayla, called her at about 9 a.m. that Works found out that it was her boyfriend who died in the crash. Buffalo police had told Kayla that they believed her father’s car was involved in the fatal crash, police officials said.
Humboldt Parkway resident Sharon Mack lives across the street from where the car broke through the guardrail. She said she heard the crash.
“I asked my grandson, ‘Was that an accident?’ ” Mack said. “Then I heard a boom and looked out the window. I saw the flames and put on some clothes. I was just praying it wasn’t someone I knew.”
It turns out Mack knew Brown when he was younger. He was friends with her son.
Works said she has heard from several other neighbors and witnesses that the crash was caused by a police chase – not a race with another vehicle.
However, Buffalo police sources who asked not to be identified said there was no police pursuit.