Delivery Van Hit By Stray Bullet In Mina

MINA – A delivery van traveling west on Interstate 86 was struck by a possible stray bullet, the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday.

The Sheriff’s Office in a news release said a delivery van driving in the town of Mina was struck by a projectile possibly fired from a rifle from the north side of the road. The incident occurred on the interstate approximately 3 miles east of the Findley Lake exit.

Deputies believe someone hunting in the area may have fired the shot and unintentionally struck the delivery van.

“This has got to be taken very seriously,” said Sheriff Joe Gerace. “You have a projectile penetrating the side of a moving vehicle. Thankfully no one was injured.”

He added: “Hunters have to be aware those bullets travel at a great distance and can hurt people.”

Hunting for deer, bears and turkey is closed right now, but hunting for many types of small game, weasels, opossums, raccoons, skunks, foxes and coyotes is allowed.

It’s not the first incident in the area involving a stray bullet. The New York State Police in 2011 were notified of a projectile that struck a Randolph Central School bus on Route 241 in Conewango. The bus was carrying students in grades K-12.

A hole near the driver’s door was discovered, and the children were transferred to another bus and continued on to school. The bus was then taken back to the district garage where police were called.

No one was injured in the incident, which police tabbed as a hunting accident.

“We do not believe there is any intentional act,” Captain Steven Graap of the State Police said at the time. “… We are leaning in that area of a hunting-related situation, but we still need to look and see if there is any criminal culpability and identify anybody out this way.”

Anyone with information about who may have been hunting in the area where the van was struck on Thursday is asked to contact the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office at 753-2131.