‘Medical event’ may have caused car fatality

GREENPORT—A Greene County man died following a one-car crash on County Route 31, September 27 at 10:10 a.m.

Trooper Matthew Colwell of the New York State Police at Livingston investigated.

The preliminary investigation revealed that Richard K. Stickles, 54, of South Cairo was driving north on County Route 31, when his vehicle crossed the oncoming lane and travelled into an open field. The vehicle continued through some brush and eventually struck a large tree in front of a residence at 150 County Route 31.

According to State Police Captain Scott Brown, the homeowner immediately came out of her residence after hearing the crash and found the driver to be unresponsive. The driver’s side airbag had properly deployed. Greenport Rescue took lifesaving measures but Mr. Stickles remained unresponsive. The squad took him to Columbia Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

“Considering all the factors, it is probable that Mr. Stickles suffered a medical event while traveling on County 31, causing him to leave the roadway,” Captain Brown said in a press release. Mr. Stickles had an extensive medical history and a post mortem exam to determine cause of death was not performed, the captain said in a follow-up phone call.

The captain assisted at the scene along with Sergeant Yvonne Richards, Investigator Abdul Weed, Trooper Brennan Keeler, Greenport firefighters and the rescue squad.


Justin Keller, 27, of Chatham was charged with second degree criminal contempt by Deputy Toby VanAlstyne, September 24 at 6:33 p.m.

Mr. Keller was directed in a court order of protection issued by Columbia County Family Court Judge Richard Koweek to have no contact with a person. Mr. Keller allegedly did make contact with the protected person in Chatham. Taken into custody without incident, he was arraigned before Chatham Justice William Hogencamp, sent to the county jail in lieu of $1,500 cash bail and ordered to return to court at a later date.

Two in Copake, one a sex offender, charged in abuse case


COPAKE—After an investigation by Sheriff’s Office investigators, deputies, Columbia County Child Protective Services and the District Attorney’s Office, Kevin M. Hawver, Sr., 47, of Viewmont Road, Copake, a Level 2 Sex Offender, was charged on an arrest warrant issued by Columbia County Judge Jonathan Nichols, September 28 at 8:05 p.m., according to a press release from Columbia County Sheriff David Harrison, Jr.

A report to the state Child Abuse Hotline initiated an investigation by Child Protective Services and the Sheriff’s Office. The investigation resulted in charges alleging that Mr. Hawver touched the genitals of a five-year-old relative who visited him during August and September of this year. Mr. Hawver was charged with first degree sexual abuse, a class D felony, forcible touching and endangering the welfare of a child, both class A misdemeanors.

After the child reported the incident to his mother, who knew that Mr. Hawver is a registered Level 2 Sex Offender, she allowed the child to go back to the Hawver residence again. The mother was also charged with endangering the welfare of a child, September 28. She was arraigned by Judge Nichols and sent to jail in lieu of $3,500 cash bail or $7,000 bail bond. The mother’s name is not being released in order to protect the identity of the child victim.

Mr. Hawver was jailed without bail by Judge Nichols. Both defendants will return to county court at a later date.

Investigator Mark Dunspaugh, Deputies David Proper, Toby VanAlstyne and Andrew Broockmann made the arrests. In addition to Child Protective Services Investigators, District Attorney Paul Czajka and ADA Bob Gibson assisted with the investigation.

Sheriff Harrison urges anyone who suspects child abuse to call state Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-342-3720.

To contact Diane Valden email .

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