Hit and run driver on Halloween, vehicle sought

The Sheriff’s Office is looking for the dark-colored SUV seen here that hit a young trick-or-treater Halloween night. Photo contributed

GREENPORT—The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office seeks the public’s assistance in locating a driver and vehicle that struck a child, October 31 at about 6:46 p.m.

The four-year-old boy was crossing Fairview Avenue at the Livingston Parkway/Plaza Diner intersection while trick-or-treating with his mother, when he was struck by a northbound vehicle, which did not stop, and continued northbound on Fairview Avenue, according to a press release from the Sheriff’s Office.

The vehicle in question is described as a dark-colored SUV (see image.)

Anyone who has information about this vehicle and/or its operator is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 518-828-3344 and refer to incident number 289713.

The child suffered a fractured ankle, cuts and bruises. He was released from the hospital and is now recovering at home.


State Police from the New Lebanon barracks responded to State Route 295, west of Route 5, for a report of a vehicle off the road and down an embankment, October 29 at 2 a.m.

Responding troopers located the vehicle containing three occupants, which had struck a tree. The Chatham Rescue Squad took passenger Paula R. Buxbaum, 58, of North Adams, MA, to Berkshire Medical Center where she was pronounced dead. The operator Douglas R. Jones, 51, and a second passenger, age 17, were both treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

This investigation remains ongoing, but all current evidence suggests the crash was accidental. Canaan and Red Rock firefighters were called to the scene. They were back in service at 4:09 a.m.

Sheriff’s Office earns re-accreditation

GREENPORT—A New York State Sheriff’s Association (NYSSA) re-accreditation assessment was conducted for the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Civil Division, September 22. The NYSSA Assessment Team verified that the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office was in compliance with all 121 civil accreditation standards. The county Sheriff’s Office has accreditation through the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) Law Enforcement Accreditation Standards (NYSLEAP), and has had Civil Accreditation since 2015. There are 62 Sheriff’s Offices across the State of New York, and only 26 are accredited in the Civil Division including Columbia County.

In a press release the NYSSA Accreditation Team stated, “The Sheriff’s Office functions efficiently due to the command staff leadership and the employee’s hard work complying with the policies and mission of the department.”

Pictured (l-r) are: Civil Clerk Michelle Donnelly, Peter Kehoe of the New York State Sheriffs Association, Sheriff David Bartlett, Civil Clerk Debra Lombardo, First Sergeant Ian Boehme, who is the Civil Division supervisor. Photo contributed

The NYSSA Assessment Team unanimously recommended that the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Civil Division be re-accredited through September 2025.

The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office is an accredited agency in all four major divisions; Law Enforcement, Corrections, Civil, and Court Security.

Fall back into safety: Change clocks, check smoke alarms

ALBANY—As New Yorkers prepare for the end of Daylight Savings Time, the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY) reminds them to check the batteries and test their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Alarms equipped with removable batteries should have their batteries replaced.

In 2019, New York State led the nation in home fire deaths with a tragic 126 fatalities. The number has since decreased, but is still high—77 civilians in New York have died in home fires during 2021. The upcoming winter season is typically the busiest time of year for home fires.

Working smoke alarms save lives. According to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) three of every five home fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke alarms or in homes lacking smoke alarms. A quarter of all smoke alarm failures are caused by dead batteries.

In a press release, FASNY President John P. Farrell said, “Every second counts in a fire. Smoke alarms provide a critical warning that can help people escape during an emergency–but only if they are working properly. All smoke alarms should be tested monthly. If your smoke alarm has removable batteries, make sure you change them twice a year to ensure that they are functioning.

“The reduction in home fire deaths in recent years may be attributed to a New York state law that went into effect in 2019. It banned the sale of smoke alarms with removable batteries. Newly installed or replacement smoke alarms in the State of New York must be powered by a 10-year, sealed, non-removable battery, or hardwired to the home. Smoke alarms equipped with sealed-in, non-removable batteries are nearly impossible to disable and require little maintenance. If you’re not sure when you last replaced the batteries, or bought a smoke alarm, FASNY encourages you to purchase a new one with 10-year batteries.

“Having a sufficient number of properly located smoke and CO alarms is essential to maximize the amount of escape time,” said President Farrell.

Smoke alarm tips from FASNY and the NFPA:

*Test alarms at least once a month by using the test button

*If you have an alarm with a removable battery, be sure to check the batteries every six months, and change the batteries every year. If a battery is starting to lose its power, the unit will usually chirp to warn you. Do NOT disable the unit

*Vacuum or blow out any dust that might accumulate in the unit

*Never borrow a battery from an alarm to use somewhere else

*Never paint a smoke or CO alarm

*Install at least one smoke alarm on every floor of your home, including the basement, and in, or near each sleeping area

*Smoke alarms should not be installed near a window because drafts could interfere with their operation

*Families should also develop and practice a home fire escape plan

*Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for testing smoke alarms and replacing the batteries.

For more information on smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, and other information on fire safety and prevention, visit www.fasny.com and www.nfpa.org.

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