Speed may have led to latest rollover at sharp Route 22 curve

COPAKE–Excessive speed appears to be the cause of a tractor trailer accident on State Route 22, September 1 at 4:14 p.m., according to a press release from State Police at Livingston, who investigated.

Troopers John Reppucci and Matthew Radewitz arrived to find a rolled over tractor trailer that was hauling about 50,000 pounds of flour from ADM in Greenport to Oyster Bay, Long Island.

The operator, identified as Winfield Fisher from Germantown was treated at the scene by the Community Rescue Squad for injuries to his head and arms. Sergeant Kimberly Adriance, Trooper Matthew Colwell and Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit (CVEU) Trooper Joseph Perusse from Troop K were also on the scene. The tractor trailer was deemed to be in satisfactory operating condition.

According to State Police Captain Scott Brown, the vehicle was traveling south when it failed to negotiate a sharp turn in the roadway, causing the tractor trailer to roll over off the west shoulder and come to rest in a farmer’s corn field. Captain Brown said this section of road, where the former Black Grocery Bridge intersected Route 22, has been the site of other serious accidents.

“The State Department of Transportation (DOT) has done an excellent job with signs warning motorists to slow down as they approach the curve” said the captain. There is a section on Route 22 that is posted at 55 mph a ways north of the scene, but there are two DOT speed signs warning motorists to slow down to 45 mph and then to 35 mph as they approach the curve.

“Ironically, at least four of the caution arrow signs on the curve were knocked down by the tractor trailer as it rolled into the field,” said Trooper Reppucci.

A significant amount of diesel fuel spilled onto the highway and into the field. DOT and the Department of Environmental Conservation Spill Unit both handled the fuel cleanup and remediation. Hillsdale and Copake fire companies provided oversight to ensure the safety of all first responders. The motor carrier is owned by Albany Transport, Inc. in Hudson. A short section of Route 22 was closed for about five hours. The investigation by Trooper Reppucci is continuing.

Greenport

Greenport Police were called to the Fairview Plaza to investigate a suspicious package in front of H and R Block, September 6.

A small grey suitcase was found near the rear of a Saturn SUV .The owner of the vehicle did not see anyone place the suitcase by her car.

Taking a cautious approach, Greenport Police called for assistance from the State Police, Columbia County Sheriff’s Office and the Greenport Fire Department to cordon off the plaza. Police also cleared all stores of patrons. The State Police bomb disposal unit used a mobile x-ray unit to determine that there was no threat inside the suitcase. Trooper Joe Benzinger cleared the suitcase, which contained some sheets and personal items.

“It was a difficult decision to close a plaza, but public safety has to be a priority in this type of call,” Greenport Police Chief Kevin Marchetto said in a release. Also assisting were Lt. James Andrews, Sr. Inv. William Foster and uniformed officers. The plaza was closed off for about an hour and a half.

Germantown

Lisa Hoffman, 34, of Germantown was charged with endangering the welfare of a child, fourth degree criminal mischief and second degree harassment by Deputies Jason Garvey and Brendan Filli, August 17 at 1:25 a.m.

Ms. Hoffman allegedly broke the windshield of a car when she threw an object at it. She also allegedly struck a male victim with her hand. The occurrence took place in front of three children during a dispute on Young America Road.

She was arraigned before Clermont Justice Ronald Banks, sent to the county jail without bail and ordered to return to Germantown Town Court later that evening.

Canaan

A resident of the Berkshire Farm Center and Services for Youth facility faces was charged for allegedly attempting to smuggle drugs into the campus.

James McNair, 17, was charged with fifth degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a felony, by Trooper Bryan Cloutier, August 30.

Troopers say James returned from a weekend home leave in Yonkers with several pieces of crack cocaine. He was arraigned in Canaan Court and sent to the Columbia County Jail in lieu of $5,000 cash bail. He will return to court at a later date.

Claverack

Evan Shepard, 52, of Bedford, PA, was charged with exposure of a person, a violation of the state Penal Law, by Deputy Marcus Hickey, August 17 at 4:50 p.m.

Mr. Shepard was seen naked in a public stream. He was released with an appearance ticket to answer the charge in Claverack Court at a later date.

To contact Diane Valden email

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