Students escape injury when car strikes stopped TH bus

The driver of a car was hurt when his vehicle crashed into the rear of a stopped school bus on Route 22, Copake, January 2. Photo by Lance Wheeler

COPAKE—The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an accident involving a school bus on State Route 22, just south of Lackawanna Road, January 2 at 7:28 a.m.

No students were hurt.

Columbia County 911 dispatched deputies to the two-vehicle personal injury accident, according to a press release from Columbia County Sheriff David P. Bartlett.

Deputies found that a 2012 Dodge Charger operated by Jeremy Cianciosi, 34, of Copake was driving north on State Route 22 when it struck the back of a stopped school bus in the northbound lane of travel.

The Taconic Hills school bus, a 2011 Freightliner operated by Maureen Hiserodt, 67, of Ancram was stopped to pick up students. At the time of the collision, the red lights were flashing on the bus.

The Community Rescue Squad took Mr. Cianciosi to the Albany Medical Center for treatment of injuries to his face, mouth and hand.

The school bus was occupied by 15 students, one Taconic Hills School staff member and the bus driver. Mrs. Hiserodt complained of soreness from the impact, but was not transported.

The students and staff member did not report any injuries and all the occupants were transferred to another bus.

The investigation is continuing at this time and tickets are possible.

Community Rescue Squad, Copake and Ancram firefighters assisted at the scene.

Investigating for the Sheriff’s Office are Captain John DeRocha, Deputies David Stevens, Patrick Mayo and Cindy Madison.

*Lucas Darling, 39, of Copake was charged with endangering the welfare of a child, a class A misdemeanor, and second degree harassment, a violation, by Deputy Samantha Plass December 7 at 9:24 p.m.

Mr. Darling is accused of having an altercation with a child less than 15 years old in a private residence in Copake. He was arraigned in Hillsdale Court and was released on his own recognizance. He was to appear in Copake Court at a later date.


Luis Alexander Aspuac, 32, of Chatham was charged with forcible touching, a class A misdemeanor, by State Police from the Livingston barracks, December 18.

Investigators received a complaint of a possible sex crime December 14.

An investigation determined Mr. Aspuac had allegedly forcibly touched an employee under his supervision.

He was arraigned in Chatham Village Court and released on his own recognizance. An order of protection was requested on behalf of the victim, and granted by the magistrate. Mr. Aspuac is next scheduled to appear in court January 9.


A family of five was left without a home following a structure fire at 1780 County Route 22, December 27 at 1:32 a.m.

Ghent firefighters and the Chatham Rescue Squad were called to the scene along with mutual aid from the Chatham, Greenport, Austerlitz, West Ghent and Valatie fire departments.

The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, Columbia County Fire Coordinators, NYSEG and the Red Cross assisted on scene.

A family of five is homeless following an early morning fire in Ghent, December 27. Photo credit: Chatham Fire PIO

Volunteers from the Mid-Hudson Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross provided immediate emergency aid to the two adults and three children, ages 5, 9 and 11.

The Red Cross provided emotional support as well as financial assistance for necessities such as food and clothing. In the coming days, Red Cross staff and volunteers will remain available to help those affected by the fire as they navigate the road to recovery.

The Red Cross relies on local donors to help families prepare, respond and recover from disasters in the Mid-Hudson Valley. Visit or call 1-800-RED-CROSS to donate to Disaster Relief and help people affected by disasters big and small. Find out about current volunteer opportunities now at

Fire units were back in service at 5:09 a.m.


Hudson Police patrols responded to the scene of a car-pedestrian personal injury accident at the intersection of Fifth and Warren streets, December 19 at 11:21 a.m.

A 2017 Chevrolet TRX suburban driven by Robert Mickle, 87, of Hudson struck a 66-year-old Hudson woman as she was walking west in the crosswalk.

The Greenport Rescue Squad took the woman to Albany Medical Center. Police say she appeared to have arm and leg fractures as well as a head injury. The injuries are considered non-life threatening. The investigation is continuing and no traffic tickets have been issued at this time.


Sheth Gandolfo, 33, of Claverack was charged with second degree aggravated harassment, a class A misdemeanor, by Deputy Timothy Gladwin December 3 at 6:40 p.m.

Mr. Gandolfo allegedly threatened an individual over the phone. He was arraigned in Hillsdale Court and was released on his own recognizance with a later return court date.

Mr. Gandolfo was subsequently charged with second degree criminal contempt, a class A misdemeanor, by Deputy Samantha Plass, December 7 at 5:19 p.m. He is accused of violating an order of protection. He was arraigned in Copake Court and was again released on his own recognizance. He was to appear in Hillsdale Court at a later date.

Drugs / alcohol

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

*Alejandro Merino, 28, of the Bronx was charged with seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class A misdemeanor; second degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, a class U misdemeanor; speeding and failure to dim high beams, both traffic infractions by K9 Deputy Jason Garvey and Deputy Joseph Kilmer November 24 at 10:20 p.m. Mr. Merino was stopped on State Route 9 in Kinderhook. He was operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license and was found in possession of oxycodone and ecstasy pills. He was arraigned in Kinderhook Village Court. Bail was set at $100, which he posted. He was to appear in Kinderhook Town Court at a later date.

*Shauna Cripps, 27, of Claverack was charged on a warrant for seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and possession of a hypodermic instrument, both class A misdemeanors, by Deputy Ryen Boehme December 4 at 8:10 a.m. Ms. Cripps is accused of possessing a quantity of crack cocaine. She was arraigned in Claverack Court and will reappear at a later date.

To contact Diane Valden email moc.r1560764999epapa1560764999ibmul1560764999oc@ne1560764999dlavd1560764999

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