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Tesla driver identified after fiery double fatal



Remains of the Livingston home incinerated after a Tesla crashed into it June 29. Photo by Lance Wheeler

LIVINGSTON—Victor Caraballo, 45, of Clifton Park has been identified by State Police as the driver of a Tesla involved in a fiery fatal motor vehicle crash into a house which occurred June 29.

At 1 a.m. that day troopers were dispatched by Columbia County 911 to a residence on State Route 9 for a structure fire with two occupants inside.

One house occupant, Barbara Lasher, was able to escape the flames prior to the arrival of first responders and was later taken to Albany Medical Center by Northern Dutchess Paramedics. The second occupant, Mrs. Lasher’s husband, Peter E. Lasher, age 81, was found dead inside the residence.

While firefighters extinguished the flames a vehicle was discovered containing a single deceased occupant which had struck the residence.

Initial investigation of the crash determined the 2022 Tesla Model X driven by Mr. Caraballo, was traveling at a high rate of speed southbound on State Route 9 and went off the roadway.

The vehicle struck a tree and then the residence before bursting into flames. Mr. Caraballo was found dead inside the vehicle.

Clermont, Taghkanic, Germantown, Greenport, Claverack, Ancram and Mellenville firefighters all responded to the scene.


While on patrol July 25 at about 3:07 p.m., Deputy Dayna Scott discovered a serious automobile crash, which had just occurred on State Route 23, east of the intersection with County Route 7, according to a press release from Columbia County Sheriff Donald Krapf.

An investigation determined that a 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt operated by Carmen Morales, 21, of Ancramdale was headed east on State Route 23 when it was struck head-on by a vehicle that was traveling west. The westbound vehicle was a 2014 Ford F250 operated by Abad Morales-Villegas, 35, (no relation to Carmen Morales) of Chatham. Both vehicles had extensive damage and were towed from the scene. Carmen Morales was transported to Albany Medical Center by the Community Rescue Squad with serious injuries. Abad Morales-Villegas was transported by Greenport Rescue Squad to Albany Medical Center for the treatment of minor injuries. A 14-year-old passenger in the Ford was not injured.

The reason the Morales-Villegas vehicle crossed into the path of the Morales vehicle is still under investigation at this time. The State Police Accident Reconstruction Team was requested to the scene by the Sheriff’s Office to assist with the investigation. Weather was not a factor in the crash. Possible traffic tickets and charges are still pending.

Sheriff Krapf advises that more information will be released when it becomes available and when that release will not affect the investigation.

The Craryville and Hillsdale Fire departments were on scene assisting as well as the Greenport and Copake rescue squads.

To contact Diane Valden email

‘Operation Dry Water’ targets drunk boating

GHENT—The New York State Parks Marine Services Bureau coordinates New York’s annual participation in the national Operation Dry Water campaign. This campaign involves law enforcement agencies statewide to educate boaters about the dangers of boating while under the influence of alcohol, marijuana and other drugs and removing impaired boaters from the waterways.

Alcohol use continues to be the leading factor in recreational boater deaths and a leading contributor in boating incidents. New York State Parks is asking boaters to enjoy this boating season and help keep everyone safe by not drinking alcohol while on the water or operating a boat after you have consumed alcohol. Use of both legal and illegal drugs also impair judgment and reaction time and creates dangerous circumstances while boating.

In a press release New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, & Historic Preservation Commissioner Eric Kulleseid said, “The mission of State Parks is to provide safe and enjoyable recreational opportunities for all New York State residents and visitors—including on our waterways. Boating while intoxicated by alcohol, marijuana or other drugs is illegal and jeopardizes the safety of everyone in and around the vessel. I urge those boating… to designate a sober driver both on and off the water so that everyone can safely enjoy our beautiful lakes, rivers and parks.”

New York also continues to phase-in Brianna’s Law, which requires all operators of motorized watercraft to complete a state-approved boating safety course. The law currently requires all motorboat operators born on or after January 1, 1983, to have a boating safety certificate. Beginning in 2025, the law will be fully phased-in, and a boating safety certificate will be required of all operators of motorized watercraft, regardless of age. Failure to comply carries a potential fine of between $100 to $250. Boaters can find a safe boating course by visiting The New York State Parks boating webpage.

For more information about boating under the influence, visit Operation Dry Water is coordinated nationally by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard. Follow the campaign on social media #OperationDryWater #OpDryWater #ODW23

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