Squads handle fatal golf cart crash, drowning, boat mishap

The Chatham Rescue Squad, Canaan and Red Rock firefighters transport a swimmer struck by a boat in Queechy Lake to a waiting LifeNet helicopter, which took her to the Albany Medical Center. R.E. Lindmark

KINDERHOOK—State Police investigated a fatal motor vehicle crash involving an SUV and a golf cart on State Route 9 in the Town of Kinderhook, August 13.

At 8:40 p.m., troopers were dispatched to Route 9 near Maple Lane South for an SUV versus a golf cart. Valatie Rescue and Niverville Fire Department, who were first on scene rendering aid, were able to transport the passenger of the golf cart, Henry Griffiths, 55, of Kinderhook to Albany Medical Center with serious but what were believed to be non-life-threatening injuries.

The golf cart operator, Dopson A. Wynter, 60, of Kinderhook was pronounced deceased on scene despite life-saving measures employed by EMS.

Initial investigation found the SUV, a 2011 Hyundai Santa Fe, operated by Heather Graziosi, 40, of Livingston was southbound on State Route 9. The Club Car golf cart entered the roadway from the west shoulder and subsequently collided with the Santa Fe.

This investigation remains ongoing.


State Police, State Park Police, State Forest Rangers, Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, and several local fire departments responded to Lake Taghkanic State Park for a report of a swimmer in distress.

Witnesses at the park said a man had jumped into the lake from a boat and did not surface. After a four-hour operation, State Police Underwater Recovery Team members located the body of the drowned victim, Juan P. Chauca Remachi, 24, of Flushing.

No signs of criminal activity or foul play were detected. The Columbia County Coroner’s Office also responded to the scene. This investigation remains ongoing.


State Police responded to Queechy Lake for a boating accident, August 13.

At 2:05 p.m., troopers were dispatched by Columbia County 911 to Queechy Lake for a report of a woman struck by a boat. Chatham Rescue arrived on scene and began medical treatment on the woman at the Adams Point Beach.

A LifeNet helicopter was placed on standby and then launched. The landing zone was on County Route 30 (Queechy Lake Drive) just in from Route 22. The Canaan Protective Fire Company facilitated the helicopter medevac of Catherine Thompson, 68, of Portland, OR, to Albany Medical Center. Ms. Thompson remains at Albany Medical Center in serious but stable condition.

An initial investigation found Ms. Thompson was swimming in the lake and was struck by a pontoon-style motorboat. She attempted to dive under the boat but was unable to avoid injury. This investigation remains ongoing.

Firefighters were back in service at 3:06 p.m.

To contact Diane Valden email

Jeep hit culvert and guardrail. Columbia County 911 dispatched Canaan and Red Rock Firefighters and Chatham Rescue August 9 at 3:45 p.m. for a one car accident in the Town of Canaan. The accident occurred on Route 295 between Barden and Schillings Crossing roads. It was reported the driver of the vehicle was westbound, ran off the right side of the roadway, struck a culvert then crossed both lanes and struck the guardrail on the eastbound lane. Chatham Rescue was on scene and reported that one person refused medical attention. The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office investigated. Firefighters were back in service at 4:38 p.m. R.E. Lindmark

Police patrol during ‘Speed Week’ campaign

LIVINGSTON—State Police will target speeding and aggressive drivers during a special weeklong traffic enforcement initiative.

This year’s “Speed Week” enforcement campaign runs through Sunday, August 21. Troopers will also actively patrol highways and will target drivers who violate New York’s “Move Over” Law.

Speeding is listed as a contributing factor in nearly one third of all fatal crashes in New York State. According to the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research (ITSMR) at the University at Albany, in 2021, 361 people were killed and 11,665 were injured in New York State in speed-related crashes.

During this “Speed Week” enforcement period, troopers will use 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 violating laws while driving. These vehicles blend in with every day traffic but are unmistakable as emergency vehicles once the emergency lighting is activated.

Speeding by all vehicle types, as well as other traffic violations, will be heavily enforced throughout the week in addition to normal year-round enforcement. Troopers will also be watching for other traffic violations, including distracted or impaired drivers, vehicle occupants who are not properly buckled up, and drivers that are violating New York’s Move Over law.

During the June 2021 Speed Week campaign, State Troopers issued 23,996 total tickets, including 12,900 for speeding, 437 for distracted driving, and 382 for violations of the Move Over law.

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