Woman walking on parkway fatally injured by car

AUSTERLITZ—A pedestrian was struck and killed by a motor vehicle on the Taconic State Parkway, about a mile south of State Route 203, January 26 at 12:57 a.m.

Columbia County 911 dispatched Sheriff’s deputies, Austerlitz firefighters and the Chatham Rescue Squad to the scene near mile marker 97, according to a press release from Columbia County Sheriff David P. Bartlett.

Deputies found that a 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee, operated by Ernest Sigler, 30, of Ancram was traveling southbound when it struck a woman, who was walking north in the southbound lane of travel. The woman, Fiona Tobin, 25, of Albany died at the scene.

After further investigation, deputies discovered a 2016 Nissan Altima two miles from the scene, which had gone off the parkway, down an embankment and struck a tree.

Authorities believe that Ms. Tobin was operating this vehicle prior to her death.

This accident is still under investigation. Coroner Bernadette Powis responded to the scene and is assisting with the investigation. An autopsy was scheduled for January 27 at Ellis Hospital.

Assisting at the scene were Chatham Rescue Squad, Spencertown Fire Company and State Police.

The Sheriff’s Office Accident/Incident Investigative Unit also responded to the scene.

Investigating for the Sheriff’s Office were Captain John DeRocha, Lieutenant Wayne Lopez, Senior Investigator Kevin Skype, First Sergeant Louis Bray, Sergeant Peter Grzeskow, Deputies Ted Blank, Brian McSween, Philipp Gomm, Timothy Gladwin, Patrick Mayo, and Patrick McMahon.

Firefighters were back in service at 5:02 a.m.


A Hudson woman was airlifted to Albany Med after her car hit a propane tanker truck, January 22. Photo contributed

State Police investigated a serious motor vehicle crash at 5848 Route 9H/23 in Claverack, January 22 at 11:41 a.m. in front of Valley Energy. Troopers initial investigation shows that a northbound tanker tractor trailer hauling propane was making a right-hand turn into Valley Energy. A northbound 2010 Chevrolet Malibu, operated by Lynne Clark, 73, of Hudson failed to stop for unknown reasons. Ms. Clark’s vehicle went off the road onto the right shoulder, avoided a vehicle stopped behind the tractor trailer, and then struck the trailer. The driver was reported trapped and the tanker truck was leaking.

Ms. Clark sustained serious, but believed to be non-life-threatening injuries, and was airlifted to Albany Medical Center.

Claverack and Greenport firefighters were back in service at 2:05 p.m.


State Police arrested a Greenport woman for a hate crime. State Police from the Livingston barracks, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Joint Terrorism Task Force (FBI JTTF) arrested Tara Rios, 47, of Greenport for first degree harassment as a hate crime, a class A misdemeanor, January 25.

Investigation by the State Police and the FBI determined that January 9 at 5:23 p.m., Ms. Rios threw “a package of pork chops, a non-kosher food, onto the front steps of the Congregation Anshe Emeth [Synogogue] causing pork and pork fluids to” spill onto the steps, according to the criminal complaint filed by State Police Investigator Mathew Reilly.

The following day, January 10 at 3:28 a.m. she returned to the crime scene and was photographed there.

Her acts allegedly caused the Congregation members “to be in reasonable fear of further anti-Semitic acts which could result in physical injury,” the complaint said.

She was arraigned in Livingston Court and released on her own recognizance with an order of protection issued in favor of the victims. This investigation remains ongoing.

Ms. Rios is next scheduled to appear in court on a future date.

*Clarence Risch, Jr., 49, of Philmont was charged on a warrant for third degree grand larceny, a class D felony, by Deputy David Stevens, January 17 at 9:09 a.m.

Mr. Risch is accused of stealing more than $4,000 worth of merchandise from the Walmart department store in Greenport. He was arraigned in Greenport Town Court and was released on his own recognizance with a return date of February 10.


Columbia County emergency personnel and the State Police responded to a report about a suspicious envelope containing an unknown white powdery substance at a business on Park Row, January 27 at 9:30 a.m.

An initial assessment of the substance by the County HazMat Team deemed it to be nonhazardous, and no danger to the public. State Police Senior Investigator Eric Barnes said the name of the business that received the letter is not being released. The substance has been sent to a lab for definitive analysis, he said.

The State Police investigation remains ongoing to determine if there was any criminal activity involved.

Park Row, which had been closed to traffic, was reopened and units were clear from the scene at 2:35 p.m.

Agencies responding to the scene were New York State Hazmat Team, NYS Office of Fire Prevention and Control, NYS Emergency Management, Columbia County Hazmat Team, Chatham Fire Dept, Chatham Police, Chatham Mayor, Chatham Rescue Squad, Columbia County Fire Coordinator, Columbia County EMS Coordinator, Columbia County Dept of Health, Columbia County Emergency Management.

Deputies probe fatal industrial accident. Columbia County 911 dispatched sheriff’s deputies to the ADM Milling Company, 201 State Route 23B, Greenport, January 28 at 10:20 a.m. to assist emergency medical personnel with a person in cardiac arrest in an elevator chute. They determined that an industrial accident had occurred, which resulted in the death of an ADM employee. ADM issued a statement saying, “…an ADM colleague was involved in a fatal accident while working at ADM’s flour mill… We are working with local authorities to investigate the situation surrounding the incident at this time….our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of our colleague.” This incident is still currently under investigation. Photo by Lance Wheeler

To contact Diane Valden email .

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