SANDY CREEK, N.Y. -- Four people are dead after two vehicles hit a tanker truck on Interstate 81 in Oswego County Wednesday night.

The driver of an empty northbound milk tanker lost control of his truck just after 11:30 p.m. Wednesday.

"He saw several deer in the roadway. He hit the brakes. As you could see the skid marks, which caused him to jackknife across the entire, both lanes of northbound 81,” said New York State Police Public Information Officer Jack Keller.

Investigators say the truck driver immediately tried to straighten out his rig but didn't get enough time.

Corey Moore, 50, was driving a sedan with two passengers, 58-year-old Gregg Williams from DeKalb Junction, 63-year-old Roderick Cota from Norwood, when it crashed into the bottom of the tank and continued into the ravine. Police say all three men in the car died almost immediately.

Shortly after, Moon John Kim from Maryland, driving a Subaru Forester, followed the same path.

"Northbound also, strikes the tanker, goes underneath, and continues to go about a hundred yards, into the middle median where they come to rest.  All the occupants, you have three in the first vehicle, one in the second, and all of them are deceased at the scene,” Keller said.

Three of the men were crew members with RB Lawrence Ambulance in Canton and the fourth was a radiologist at Samaritan Medical Center.

Police say it's evident the drivers of the two vehicles couldn't see the truck on the highway because it was dark.

"It's pitch black out here.  The middle of the night.  It appears they didn't see the tractor trailer, the tanker itself crossing the highway.  Strikes him, at 65, 70 miles per hour, and unfortunately all the occupants are deceased,” said Keller.

The driver of the tractor trailer was not injured in the crash.