Walton man dies in car crash on his birthday

Travis James Roloson was heading home to celebrate his birthday on Monday when his red 1997 Honda CRV drifted off the road and into a tree, killing him instantly, police and his family say.

Roloson, who turned 31 on Jan. 5, was driving north on East River Road from Walton towards Hamden with his girlfriend, 25-year-old Melissa J. Brannock, in the passenger's seat. Police responded to the crash around 7:42 p.m., according New York State Police spokesman Nathan Riegal. Family members say that the crash occurred around 4:42 p.m. 

"He’d just got off work and picked up his girlfriend," said Cathy Roloson, Travis's stepmother. "They were going to cook him a birthday dinner." 

Brannock was injured in the crash, Cathy Roloson said, breaking her leg in 13 places. She is being treated in a hospital in Binghamton, Roloson said. 

The cause of the crash is still under investigation, but road conditions near the crash were clear and dry at the time, police say. Roloson was pronounced dead due to a broken neck at the scene by a Delaware County medical examiner. 

According to his obituary, Roloson lived in Walton, where he was working at the Walton Big M supermarket and played in a band called Cardboard Cutouts. He graduated from Walton Central School in 2003.

Roloson's family is hosting a gathering in his memory at the Hamden Town Hall from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 11. More info here

Editor's note and correction: This story has been edited to add additional information. Also, a previous version of the story incorrectedly identified the boy in Roloson's photo as a "young friend." It is his son, Jaedyn Roloson.