Camillus man killed in motorcycle crash on I-81 near Destiny USA in Syracuse

Site of fatal crash


Syracuse, N.Y. — A Camillus man was killed this weekend after he lost control of a motorcycle and went off the side of Interstate 81 South near Destiny USA, city police said.

James Pontello was thrown from the motorcycle early Sunday during the crash on I-81 South, Syracuse police spokesman Lt. Matthew Malinowski said.

Pontello was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. He was 29.

Passersby called 911 around 2:25 a.m. Sunday to report the crash on the highway, just south of the exit to Destiny USA.

First responders from both Syracuse and Liverpool were dispatched to the scene because it was not immediately known if the exact location of the crash was in the city of Syracuse or Liverpool. One caller said it was just before the Liverpool/Hiawatha Boulevard ramp; another said it was on the southern end of the bridge near Destiny USA. Eventually it was determined the crash was in the city.

The crash forced police to close I-81 South between Exit 23, Hiawatha Boulevard and Exit 21 Catawba Street until 6:20 a.m., according to the state Department of Transportation.

Syracuse police are still investigating the crash. Malinowski, the police spokesman, said it is too early to say what might have contributed to the crash.

“The investigation is active and ongoing,” he said.

Pontello grew up in the Syracuse area and graduated in 2011 from West Genesee High School, according to his obituary.

He worked as a mechanic for the West Genesee Central School District for the past six years, and was also president of The Life of Balance Motorcycle Club, a member of American Poolplayers Association and earned his black belt at Tearney’s Martial Arts, his obituary said.

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