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Police say driver of pickup caused fatal Chatham accident


CHATHAM–Livingston State Police have charged a Niverville teenager with misdemeanor reckless driving, speeding and failure to keep right in connection with the July 30 crash that killed an Albany man.

State Police Senior Investigator Gary Mazzacano told The Columbia Paper Wednesday the accident investigation revealed that James Lensink, 18, of Niverville was travelling at 91 mph in a 45 mph zone when the GMC pickup truck he was driving crashed into a Lexus convertible driven by Ralph J. Glover III, 34, of Albany on Route 203 at the Chapel Drive intersection at 10:31 p.m.

Mr. Lensink and his passenger Edward S. Mieske, 17, of Kinderhook, had just made some mechanical modifications to the truck at Mr. Lensink’s house and were taking the truck for a test drive when the crash occurred.

The senior investigator said State Police were able to download data about the speed from the truck’s computer.

Mr. Glover was pulling out of Chapel Drive, making a left turn onto Route 203.

With the truck approaching at 91 mph, Mr. Glover did not see it when he pulled out, but when the truck’s driver saw the car, he veered to the left, which led to the failure to keep right charge, said Sr. Inv. Mazzacano.

Mr. Glover was killed in the crash. His passenger, Alice F. O’Keefe, 22, of Albany was airlifted from the scene to the Albany Medical Center with a fractured skull, and broken neck, collarbone, ribs, left shoulder, toes and fingers.

Mr. Lensink broke his leg in the crash and Edward had minor injuries, the senior investigator said.

Mr. Lensink was issued tickets to appear in Kinderhook Town Court September 2. 


An Elizaville firefighter was charged with making three calls to Columbia County 911 to report smoke or fire where there was none.

Livingston State Police working with Livingston Fire Chief Jack Lasher and 911 Dispatcher Kevin Johnson investigated the fabricated reports–all within the Livingston Fire District, of which Elizaville is a part.

Their investigation resulted in the August 13 arrest of Christopher Brown, 21, of Manorton on three counts of second degree falsely reporting an incident, each a class E felony.

State Police Senior Investigator Gary Mazzacano reports in a press release that Mr. Brown allegedly made three 911 calls that resulted in the emergency dispatch and response of Livingston Fire District apparatus.

On July 15, he allegedly reported smoke near the Manorton Church; August 4, he allegedly reported smoke near the intersection of County Route 19 and White Oak Road; and August 12, he allegedly reported something burning in Blue Stores.

When making each report, police say Mr. Brown used a fake name.

Arraigned in Livingston Court before Justice Robert Q. Moore, Mr. Brown was released in the custody of his father and directed to reappear in court August 20. 

Columbia County

Livingston State Police Investigator Gary Mazzacano says the State Police are investigating numerous break-ins throughout the county.

Among them are:

*July 8 break-in at the Blue Spruce Motel in Kinderhook, during which a television was stolen

*July 30 break-in at a Kittle Road residence in Claverack, money was stolen

*August 3 break-in at a Stony Kill Road residence in Canaan, jewelry was stolen

*August 4 break-in at Route 22 residence in New Lebanon, computer-related items stolen

*August 4-5 break-in at a Kinderhook Village residence, coins and cameras stolen

*August 7 break-in at a Route 23 residence in Claverack, jewelry stolen

*August 14 break-in at a Miller Road residence in Claverack, a computer stolen.

The senior investigator reminds anyone who spots suspicious activity to report it to authorities.

To contact Diane Valden email 

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