Follow Us

FBI investigating fiery, deadly crash in New York in which vehicle with gas cans plowed into crowd

A Ford SUV with at least a dozen gas canisters plowed into another car, police said.

Published: January 2, 2024 8:12am

Updated: January 2, 2024 1:31pm

Law enforcement said Tuesday afternoon the fiery vehicle crash shortly after midnight New Year's Eve in upstate New York was not a act of terrorism.

The FBI has been investigating the incident, which involved two cars, including one with at least a dozen gas canisters.

The vehicle with the gas canisters, a Ford SUV, crashed into another vehicle, then both vehicles crashed into a crowd outside of a New Year's concert in Rochester, in a fiery wreck.

Two people died and five others were injured in the collision that occurred as about 1,000 people left a concert at the Kodak Center after ringing in the New Year, Rochester Police Chief David Smith said.

The suspect, identified as 35-year-old Michael Avery, also died, Smith said, according to CNN

Shortly before 1 a.m. local time Monday, Avery's Ford plowed into a Mitsubishi Outlander leaving a nearby parking lot.

Two Mitsubishi passengers died and the driver was transported to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, the chief said. 

Additionally, three pedestrians, including one with life-threatening injuries, were transported to the hospital for medical treatment after being hit, according to the chief.

After the flames were extinguished, first responders discovered "at least a dozen gasoline canisters in and around the striking vehicle," Smith said. "Based on the danger level associated with these, the Rochester police department bomb squad and the joint arson task force responded to the scene."

Smith said Avery may have been suffering from possible undiagnosed mental health issues.

Avery traveled Wednesday from Syracuse to Rochester in his personal vehicle, then rented the Ford on Friday from a Rochester airport car rental agency.

He purchased gasoline and multiple gas canisters at different stores throughout Saturday, Smith also said. 

Follow Madeleine Hubbard on X or Instagram.

Just the News Spotlight

Support Just the News