GNH Lumber February 2024

Three-year-old killed in ATV rollover


AUSTERLITZ–The youngest of three siblings aboard an all-terrain-vehicle died after it crashed at 100 Herrington Drive, August 8 at 6:44 p.m.

Sheriff David W. Harrison Jr. reported in a press release that the children–an 8-year-old boy and his 3-year-old and 10-year-old sisters–were house-sitting with their father at a residence on Herrington Drive.

The father and children, none of whom were identified by the sheriff, borrowed an ATV from the owner of the house, who was out-of-town, and went over to a neighbor’s place.

The boy was driving the 2002 Kawasaki Mule 3010 ATV on the driveway just off Herrington Drive. His sisters were passengers.

The ATV hit a tree and the 3-year-old girl was tossed off, then pinned under the ATV, which rolled over on top of her. The father and a friend were nearby and called for emergency help.

Spencertown Fire Company first responders and Chatham Rescue Squad members were quickly on the scene and immediately began life-saving techniques.

The Chatham squad took the girl to Columbia Memorial Hospital, where she died of her injuries a short time later.

The Philmont Rescue Squad took the boy to CMH for treatment of facial injuries. The 10-year-old was not hurt.

The father and children are from the Copake-Hillsdale area, according to the release.

Sheriff Harrison, who was on the scene, said the investigation is continuing by Deputy Louis Bray, Investigator Mark Dunspaugh, the Sheriff’s Office Incident/Accident Scene Investigation Unit and County Coroner Angelo Nero. Undersheriff James R. Sweet and Captain David Bartlett also responded.

An obituary for Skylar Renee Waldorf appears on page 21 of this edition. 


John E. Race Jr., 23, of Claverack was charged with first degree sexual abuse, a class D felony, by Columbia County Sheriff’s Office investigators, August 3 at 6:05 p.m.

Mr. Race allegedly forcibly touched the genitals of an 11-year-old girl at a Philmont residence in late June, then allegedly threatened her with physical harm if she told anyone about the incident, according to a press release from Sheriff David W. Harrison Jr.

The investigation was initiated by Sergeant Michael Merante on August 3 after the victim’s father contacted the Sheriff’s Office.   

Investigators Mark Dunspaugh and Patrick Logue made the arrest.

Mr. Race was arraigned in Philmont Village Court before Justice Rick Tracy and was sent to the Columbia County Jail in lieu of $5,000 cash bail or $10,000 bail bond. He was directed to return to Village Court at a later date.

Sheriff Harrison asks anyone who has information about similar incidents involving Mr. Race, to contact investigators at (518) 828-4316. 


A mother and her three adult children were hurt in a crash on the northbound exit ramp of the Taconic State Parkway at Route 82, August 11 at 9:04 a.m.

Trooper Anthony Pierro, who was patrolling the parkway, just south of the accident scene, was flagged down by a motorist and told about the accident.

A 57-year-old Westchester County woman was driving a 2001 Dodge Durango north on the parkway, when she failed to negotiate the Route 82 exit ramp curve, went off the road and struck a tree head-on due to excessive speed, according to a press release issued by Trooper Pierro.

The sport utility vehicle was heavily damaged and the four occupants–the woman and her children ages 17, 28 and 33, all of White Plains–were all hurt, three of them seriously.

None of the names of the accident victims were available from State Police by press time Wednesday.

Two Medevac helicopters, Northern Dutchess paramedics, Taghkanic and Livingston firefighters with the Jaws of Life and several other troopers were all summoned to the scene.

The northbound Route 82-exit ramp was closed for some time to allow the helicopters to land at the scene.

Two of the injured were taken by helicopter, the other two were taken by ambulance–all to the Albany Medical Center.  

Three of the victims remained hospitalized with serious injuries, according to the release.

To contact Diane Valden email

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