City police have released the name of the 5-year-old girl who died following a car accident Saturday along I-790 in Utica, as well as the other occupants inside the vehicle.


 


 




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City police have released the name of the 5-year-old girl who died following a car accident Saturday along I-790 in Utica, as well as the other occupants inside the vehicle.

Makiah Johnson, of Rome, died after she was ejected from a vehicle driven by her mother, Tamarah Johnson, 19, of Rome, at about 10:45 p.m. Saturday, where I-790 splits from state Route 12, Utica police Capt. James Watson said.

Tamarah Johnson's sister, Cheyenne Johnson, 15, of Rome, was also in the vehicle, Watson said.

Makiah landed in the Barge Canal following the crash, and divers recovered her body from the water several hours later.

No charges have been filed at this time.

The accident is still under investigation, and police are not releasing any details regarding the cause of the crash at this time, Watson said. It will be about three to seven days before the accident reconstruction is complete.

"We are going to complete the reconstruction prior to releasing any details," Watson said.

However, Watson said, there is nothing to suggest alcohol or drugs were involved in the accident.

It appears that the Johnsons had left a house in Utica and were heading back to Rome when the accident occurred, Watson said.

This is how the events unfolded, police previously said:

* Tamarah Johnson was driving a van with her sister, Cheyenee Johnson, who was in the passenger seat, at about 10:43 p.m. Saturday in the northbound lane of I-790, just after it splits from state Route 12.

Makiah was in the rear passenger-side seat — it’s still unclear whether she was wearing a seatbelt.

* The minivan collided with the cement bridge over the canal, ejecting Makiah through a side window of the van and into the canal.

* At least 60 emergency personnel from agencies in both Oneida and Herkimer County responded, including city police and fire departments. Firefighters from Whitesboro, Deerfield, Clinton, Stittville and Maynard responded with lighting equipment.

Observer-Dispatch