Triform Camphill resident, 23, dies in accident with truck

LIVINGSTON—A resident of the Triform Camphill Community at 20 Triform Road, died from injuries suffered when he was hit by a truck, December 15 at 10:25 a.m.

State Police from the Livingston barracks responded to Triform for the accident.

Their initial investigation determined the victim, David H. Wagner, 23, a Triform resident, was fatally struck by a Chevrolet 3500 pick-up truck while clearing brush with fellow employees and volunteers at the facility.

Livingston firefighters and Northern Dutchess Paramedics were called to the scene. Paramedics took Mr. Wagner to Columbia Memorial Hospital where he died.

State Police report, “The incident appears to be accidental in nature at this time, but remains an open investigation.”

Firefighters were back in service at 12:05 p.m.


Three people escaped from their home at 1780 County Route 22, after fire broke out December 12 at 3:44 p.m.

County 911 initially summoned Ghent firefighters and the Chatham Rescue Squad. Mutual aid was provided by Chatham, Greenport, Austerlitz, Mellenville, West Ghent and Valatie firefighters.

East Chatham relocated to Chatham.

The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office and county Fire Coordinators assisted on scene and NYSEG was called in to cut the power.

Volunteers from the Hudson Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross provided immediate emergency aid to three people after fire destroyed their County Route 22 home in Ghent.

The Red Cross provided financial assistance which can be used for necessities such as shelter, food, and clothing to the three adults displaced by the blaze. Volunteers also offered health services and emotional support. One resident is eligible for veterans’ services. 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.

Firefighters were back in service at 7:25 p.m. They were called back to the scene from 9:19 to 11:24 p.m. for a “wet down” of the smoldering structure.

To contact Diane Valden email .

K9 Apollo and his partner, Sergeant Benansky are all smiles. Photo contributed

Sheriff’s K9 Apollo mourned

GREENPORT—The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office announced the death of Canine Deputy Apollo in a December 16 press release.

A German Shepherd, K9 Apollo served Columbia County for nearly 10 years.

Apollo passed away with his beloved partner and handler Sergeant Heath Benansky by his side. Apollo died after unexpected medical complications presented themselves.

The dog was born February 4, 2011 in Holland and was acquired by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office in March 2012. Apollo specialized in narcotics detection, patrol and tracking. During the course of the partnership between Sgt. Benansky and Apollo, the two tracked several missing and wanted persons, did several narcotics sweeps and assisted many other agencies across the State of New York and Massachusetts.

Apollo was always excited to display his talents at community events and demonstrations throughout the county. He had a presence of a true professional police canine and was impressive to watch during his public demonstrations on the role K9s play in law enforcement.

Apollo was still an active member of the Sheriff’s Office and remained on patrol up until his death.

There was little that Apollo liked more than suiting up and getting in his patrol car with his partner.

He also enjoyed playing in the water and with his partner, according to the release.

“This has been a particularly tough year with the passing of several members of this office. Apollo is no different. He was a phenomenal canine police officer. Whenever Apollo came into service he was determined to get his job done and did so effectively and professionally with his partner, Sergeant Benansky. My heart goes out to Sergeant Benansky for the loss of his friend and partner,” Sheriff David Bartlett said in the release.

‘Tis the season for police to crack down

LIVINGSTON—State Police will participate in a special enforcement initiative to crack down on impaired and reckless driving this holiday season. The enforcement campaign is part of the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” initiative and runs from now through Saturday, January 1, 2022. Drivers can expect to see sobriety checkpoints, along with more troopers on roadways during the campaign.

In addition to the DWI checkpoints and patrols, troopers will be watching for distracted drivers, vehicle occupants who are not properly buckled up, and drivers violating the “Move Over Law,” which requires motorists to exercise extreme caution when passing emergency vehicles that are stopped in or on the side of the road. State Police will also conduct underage drinker enforcement details statewide.

During the campaign, troopers will be using both marked State Police vehicles and Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement (CITE) vehicles as part of the operation. The CITE vehicles allow troopers to more easily identify motorists who are using handheld devices while driving. CITE vehicles allow troopers to better observe distracted driving violations. These vehicles blend in with every day traffic, but are unmistakable as emergency vehicles once the emergency lighting is activated.

During last year’s crackdown, State Police arrested 440 people for DWI and issued 36,142 tickets, including 12,172 tickets for speeding, 966 for distracted driving, and 389 for the “Move Over Law.” State Police also investigated 3 fatal crashes,

This campaigned is sponsored by the New York State STOP-DWI Foundation and funded by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee. The GTSC and the STOP-DWI Foundation remind motorists that their “Have a Plan” mobile app, is available for Apple, Android and Windows smartphones. The app enables New Yorkers to locate and call a taxi or rideshare service and program a designated driver list. It also provides information on DWI laws and penalties and provides a way to report a suspected impaired driver.

The State Police and our partners urge all motorists to follow these simple tips to prevent impaired driving:

*Before drinking, designate a sober driver

*If you’re impaired, use a taxi or ridesharing service, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation

*Use your community’s sober ride program

*If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact local law enforcement

*If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to their destination safely.

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