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No charges filed in Mayer auto accident


No charges filed in Mayer auto accidentFreestyle moguls skier and 2002 Olympic silver medalist Travis Mayer will not face criminal charges in an automobile accident outside of Buffalo, N.Y., that killed another driver.

Mayer, 23, was ticketed for failure to yield the right of way at a stop sign at the scene of the June 21 fatal accident in Wales, N.Y., 19 miles southeast of Buffalo, said Dennis Rankin, chief of police services for the Erie County Sheriff’s Department.

Mayer went through a stop sign and struck the driver’s door of a vehicle driven by Diane L. Hamblin, 44, of Arcade, N.Y., Rankin said. The collision knocked both vehicles into an adjacent field, where Mayer’s vehicle hit a telephone pole. Mayer was uninjured and Hamblin was taken to the Erie County Medical Center, where she died.

Sheriff’s officials decided not to file criminal charges against Mayer after an extensive investigation, including a complete computer accident reconstruction, Rankin said.

‘Our investigation found that (Mayer) only broke one New York State law: failing to yield the right of way at a stop sign’ he said. ‘We found no extenuating circumstances – no speeding, no alcohol and no violations that would have otherwise caused a distraction to the driver.’

Sheriff’s officials determined that both vehicles were driving below the unposted speed limit of 55 mph, Rankin said. Mayer’s vehicle was traveling 30 mph at the time of the collision. Hamblin’s was traveling 53 mph.

Ski Racing was unable to contact Mayer for comment on the accident.

Mayer was extremely upset about the accident, Rankin said.

‘It was an unfortunate, tragic accident that killed a wife and mother of two’ he said.

According to an obituary published in The Buffalo News on June 24, Hamblin operated a home-decorating business out of her Arcade home and was a gardening enthusiast who was installing a goldfish pond for her children. She is survived by her husband of 21 years, Robert; a daughter, Shannon; a son, Brennan; her parents, Robert and Yvonne Gabel; six sisters and four brothers.

Mayer lives and trains in Steamboat Springs, Colo., but is a native of western New York and working on a degree from Cornell University. The U.S. Ski Team member surprised many with his silver medal at the 2002 Olympics and is considered a contender to compete in freestyle moguls at the 2006 Olympic Games in Torino, Italy.

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