Police investigate two fatal vehicle accidents on local roads

HILLSDALE—An investigation by State Police from Livingston into the cause of a two-vehicle accident that claimed the life of a five-year-old Massachusetts girl on Thanksgiving eve is continuing.

So far, police have determined that at about 9:15 p.m., November 27 a 2006 Toyota Sienna minivan operated by Ronald Baron, 56, of South Egremont, MA, was traveling east on State Route 23 behind a Town of Hillsdale snow plow truck, operated by Jamie Robinson, 37, of Hillsdale. The truck was also eastbound.

Near Bushnell Road, the Baron minivan struck the rear of the truck resulting in the death of Mr. Baron’s five-year-old daughter, who was in a car seat in the row of seats behind the front seat. Mr. Baron’s 14-year-old daughter, who was also seated in that row, suffered serious spinal cord injuries and remains hospitalized at Albany Medical Center.

Mr. Baron and his wife, Irit Baniel, 49, suffered less serious injuries and were also treated at Albany Medical Center. Mr. Robinson, the truck driver, was not hurt.

The Bureau of Criminal Investigation at Livingston, in conjunction with the State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit, are working on the case.

Anyone who saw either of the vehicles prior to the collision is asked to call State Police at 518 851-3111.
Hillsdale firefighters and the Community Rescue Squad were called to the scene. Mutual Aid was provided by Craryville firefighters, the Greenport Rescue Squad and Northern Dutchess Paramedics. The Sheriff’s Office assisted State Police at the scene.

A medical transport helicopter was placed on standby, but declined due to weather.

Firefighters were clear from the scene at 12:54 a.m. November 28.

Livingston

A Livingston man died as a result of the injuries he suffered in a crash that split his car in half, Thanksgiving night, November 28 at 7:53 p.m.

State Police from Livingston responded to the one-car accident at 1191 County Route 19. Their investigation revealed that a Chevrolet Lumina driven by Jason VanAckooy, 34, of Livingston was headed north when the driver failed to negotiate a curve due to unsafe speed. The vehicle went off the road, struck a utility pole which split the vehicle in two.

Livingston firefighters cut Mr. VanAckooy out of the vehicle with extrication tools.

He was airlifted by Life Net to Albany Medical Center with serious injuries. He died of those injuries at AMC November 30.

Mr. VanAckooy was the father of two and worked for Williams Lumber.

Electrical wires were down and National Grid was called in for repairs.

State Police were assisted by Livingston firefighters and Northern Dutchess Paramedics. A complete obituary on Mr. Van Ackooy appears on page 24 of this issue.

*Sandra Wood-Mannino, 52, of Poughkeepsie was charged with second degree criminal contempt, a class A misdemeanor by Deputy Thomas Merante, November 23 at 4 p.m.

Ms. Wood-Mannino allegedly violated an order of protection. She was arraigned in Livingston Court and released on her own recognizance. She is scheduled to reappear in court December 12.

Hudson

While on patrol, a Hudson police officer saw a vehicle without its headlights on go through the stop sign at the Worth Avenue and Warren Street intersection, November 20 at 5:15 p.m.

In an effort to elude the patrol, the suspect vehicle made a U-turn in the intersection of Prospect Avenue and Columbia Turnpike.

The vehicle, operated by Ernest Hartfield, 38, of Hudson then failed to negotiate the turn from Prospect to Worth Avenue, crashed through a fence and into a house at 3 Worth Avenue. Unable to get out of the vehicle, Mr. Hartfield was assisted by Hudson firefighters and the Greenport Rescue Squad and was taken to Columbia Memorial Hospital for treatment multiple injuries, including broken bones.

One occupant of the residence was treated by the rescue squad and taken to the hospital for an apparent minor injury.

Mr. Hartfield was admitted to the hospital where he was charged later that evening at 10:55 p.m. with unlawfully fleeing a police officer, having inadequate headlights and taillights, unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, first degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle (suspended license), making an illegal U-turn, two counts of failure to stop at a stop sign, speeding, reckless driving, driving while ability impaired by drugs and unlawful possession of marijuana. He was issued tickets to appear in Hudson City Court December 3.

Police continued their investigation and returned to the hospital November 22 to convey additional charges upon Mr. Hartfield only to find that he had unexpectedly departed from the facility. Hudson Police Lieutenant Lynne Finn told The Columbia Paper Wednesday, December 4 that Mr. Hartfield failed to appear in court yesterday and remains at large.

Canaan

Aaron Jackson, 42, of Canaan was charged with endangering the welfare of a child, a class A misdemeanor, and second degree harassment, a violation, by State Police from Livingston, November 11 at 11:25 a.m.

Mr. Jackson was charged following an investigation into an incident at the Berkshire Farm Center and Services for Youth. He was issued tickets ordering him to appear in Canaan Court at a later date.

Claverack

John P. Morgan, 37, of Mellenville was charged with second degree criminal contempt, endangering the welfare of a child, both class A misdemeanors, and second degree harassment, a violation, by Deputy Joshua Oakes,

October 27 at 8:09 p.m.

Mr. Morgan was arraigned in Claverack Court and released on his own recognizance pending a return court date.

Stockport

Ronaldo A. Martel, III, 22, of Stockport was charged with sex offender failing to report change of address, class E felony by Deputy Scott Leggett, October 28 at 9:58 a.m.

Mr. Martel was arraigned in Ghent Court and sent to the Columbia County Jail in lieu of $5,000 bail. He was ordered to return to court at a later date.

*William Wrenn, 37, of Stockport was charged as a fugitive from justice by Deputy Andrew Broockmann, November 21 at 7:05 p.m. Mr. Wrenn was wanted on an active felony warrant from Massachusetts.

He was arraigned in Stockport Court and sent to the Columbia County Jail with no bail.

Niverville

Kristen L. Hinkel, 42, of Niverville was charged as a fugitive from justice by Deputy Chad Shufelt, November 7 at 9 a.m.

Ms. Hinkel was wanted on an active felony arrest warrant from Pennsylvania. She was arraigned in Stockport Court and sent to the Columbia County Jail with no bail.

Ancram

Donald Thorpe, Jr., 43, of Pine Plains was charged on a warrant for third degree assault and second degree reckless endangerment, both class A misdemeanors, by Deputies David Proper and Kelly Briscoe, November 3 at 4:38 p.m. Mr. Thorpe was arraigned in Ancram Court, released on his own recognizance and scheduled to reappear in court at a later date.

Copake

Edward Brabender, 57, of Hillsdale was charged with third degree assault , a class A misdemeanor, by Deputy Kelly Briscoe, November 5 at 7:30 a.m.

Mr. Brabender was arraigned in Copake Court and was released on his own recognizance. He is scheduled to reappear in court at a later date.

Greenport

Wren Hoy, 21, and Stephen P. Durand, 44, both of Hudson were charged with trespass, a violation, by State Police from Livingston, November 9 at 4:39 p.m.

Troopers found the pair on private property in Greenport during routine patrol. Both were issued tickets ordering them to appear in Greenport Court at a later date.

*Alan F. Dort, 65, of Claverack was charged with trespass, a violation, by State Police from Livingston, November 11 at 9 a.m. Police found Mr. Dort on private property in Greenport after a caller saw him hunting on the property unlawfully.

He was issued a ticket ordering him to appear in Greenport Court at a later date.

Clermont

Darren W. Teti, 19, of Germantown was charged with second degree criminal trespass and petit larceny, both class A misdemeanors, by State Police from Livingston, November 10 at 1:45 p.m.

Troopers were dispatched by Columbia County 911 to investigate a report of a stolen pit bull terrier. Their investigation revealed that Mr. Teti had allegedly taken the dog from a residence.

He was issued tickets and ordered to appear in Clermont Court at a later date.

*Michael J. Tetro, 33, of Athens was charged with second degree aggravated harassment and second degree criminal contempt, both class A misdemeanors by Deputy Jeffrey Hofstetter November 13 at 9:10 p.m.

Mr. Tetro allegedly violated an order of protection. He was arraigned in Clermont Court and sent to the Columbia County Jail in lieu of $5,000. He is scheduled to return to court at a later date.

*Jorge A. Bu, Jr., 22, of Hudson was charged with fourth degree criminal mischief, a class A misdemeanor by Deputy Eli Fieser, November 5 at 1:12 p.m.

Mr. Bu allegedly caused damage at the Clermont ball field. He was issued an appearance ticket returnable in Clermont Court at a later date.

*Salina Simpson, 36, of Ghent was charged with second degree criminal contempt, a class A misdemeanor, by Deputy Jeffrey Hofstetter, November 13 at 4:05 p.m.

Ms. Simpson is accused of violating an order of protection. She was arraigned in Clermont Court and was released on her own recognizance pending a later return court appearance.

Austerlitz

Samantha J. Brighenti, 31, of Austerlitz was charged with endangering the welfare of a child and leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, both class A misdemeanors, by Deputy Christopher Link, November 15 at 10:25 a.m. Ms. Brighenti was involved in a personal injury auto accident on Stonewall Road in Austerlitz and allegedly left the scene.

She was arraigned in Ghent Court and was released on her own recognizance. She is scheduled to appear in Austerlitz Court December 18.

Fire

An historic home at 85 County Route 16 in the Hollowville hamlet of Claverack was damaged when flames swept through the attic, December 3 at 6:37 p.m. Built in the early 1800s, the house was the home of George Varney, his wife, his dog and cat. Five fire companies: Churchtown, Claverack, Mellenville, Taghkanic and Livingston, fought the stubborn fire for several hours. The Greenport Rescue Squad took one person to Columbia Memorial Hospital. State Police and National Grid were on the scene. Officials believe the fire started in the attic. Mr. Varney told newsman Lance Wheeler at the scene that he has lived in the house since 1950 and was preparing to retire. He was unsure whether he would rebuild. The Varneys’ cat may have perished in the fire. Firefighters were back in service at 12:06 a.m.

Drugs/alcohol

The following face drug-and/or alcohol-related charges:

*Richard E. Harkins, 54, of Norwalk, CT, was charged with misdemeanor driving while intoxicated by State Police from Livingston, October 25 at 10:54 a.m. Troopers stopped Mr. Harkins in Greenport after they saw him using his cell phone while driving. They subsequently found him to be intoxicated. He provided a breath sample which yielded an .11% blood alcohol content. He was arraigned in Greenport Court and sent to the Columbia County Jail in lieu of $200 cash bail.

*Summer Headley, 30, of Warwick, RI, was charged with misdemeanor aggravated driving while intoxicated by State Police from Livingston, October 26 at 1:50 a.m. Troopers pulled Ms. Headley over in Ghent after seeing her fail to come to a stop at a posted stop sign. They subsequently found her to be intoxicated. She provided a breath sample which yielded an .18% blood alcohol content. She was issued traffic tickets ordering her to appear in Ghent Court at a later date.

*Joseph A. Capparelli, 24, of Chatham was charged with driving while ability impaired by alcohol by State Police from New Lebanon, October 26 at 9:13 p.m. Troopers pulled Mr. Capparelli over in Chatham for an inadequate exhaust and during the interview, they found Mr. Capparelli had been drinking. He provided a breath sample with a .07% blood alcohol content. He was issued tickets returnable in Chatham Village Court at a later date.

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