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Several hurt in chain-reaction crash on Route 66


GHENT–Two people were airlifted to Albany Medical Center following a four-car crash on Route 66, Saturday, October 3 at 3:48 p.m.

Three vehicles were stopped in the southbound lane of traffic. The first vehicle in line was a 1969 Chevrolet pickup truck driven by Herbert Carr, 55, of Columbiaville, who was waiting for northbound traffic to clear so he could make a left turn into the Brook Cove Marina, Columbia County Sheriff David W. Harrison, Jr. reported in a press release.

A fourth vehicle, a 1999 Chevrolet flatbed tow truck, operated by Adam Moon, 19, of Ghent, who was also southbound, failed to stop for the stopped vehicles.

The tow truck crashed into the rear of a 2004 Nissan Maxima driven by Alicia Mitchell, 34, of Hudson. The Mitchell vehicle was pushed into the rear of a 1992 Buick Road Master driven by Peggy Alt, 56, of Philmont, which was pushed forward into the rear of Mr. Carr’s pickup truck.

Passengers in Ms. Mitchell’s car, Agnes Brown, 65, of Catskill, who was in the front seat, and Francis Heath, 66, of Catskill, a back seat passenger, were both airlifted to the Albany Medical Center (AMC) with serious injuries.

The Greenport Rescue Squad took Ms. Mitchell, who had possible internal injuries, to Columbia Memorial Hospital. The Valatie Rescue Squad took another back seat passenger in the Mitchell vehicle, Gloria Ford, 69, of Catskill, to AMC for treatment of back and neck injuries.

Ms. Alt, who was alone in her vehicle, was taken by ambulance to Columbia Memorial Hospital (CMH), where she was treated and released.

An ambulance took Mr. Carr and his passenger, Vernea Dennis, 39, of Hudson, to CMH. Mr. Carr complained of back and neck pain and Ms. Dennis had a shoulder and arm injury.

All occupants in the front seats of the vehicles were wearing seat belts.

Deputy David Rose investigated the accident.

Also on the scene were Captain David P. Bartlett, Deputies Heath Benansky, Wendy Guntert and Brendan Filli with the Sheriff’s Incident Scene Investigation Unit and Sheriff’s Investigator John Rivero. State Police and Chatham Village Police assisted.

Ghent and Chatham firefighters; Chatham, Greenport and Valatie rescue squads were also on the scene.

Sheriff Harrison said the investigation is continuing and charges are pending. 


Livingston State Police are investigating an attempted abduction on West Ghent Road, September 30 at 4:30 p.m.

A 14-year-old boy was walking on the road between County Route 25 and Fitting Road when he was approached by an “older white” man with white hair in a pickup truck.

When the man asked the boy to come closer to his vehicle, the boy ran to a friend’s house nearby.

Police say the truck was a two-door, dark green, short bed model with black fenders.

After hearing about a similar incident in Albany, the boy’s family was prompted to notify State Police October 3.

Anyone with information about this or other similar incidents is asked to call Livingston State Police at (518) 851-2001.

*Stockport Police Officers Nick Hodges and Jerry Rowell took a Columbiaville man into custody after he was involved in two separate car crashes, October 3 at about 8:40 p.m.

Dwight l. Palmquist, 51, was charged with driving while intoxicated, driving while ability was impaired by drugs, leaving the scene of a property damage accident and leaving the scene of personal injury accident.

A vehicle with 4 occupants was stopped in the southbound lane of Route 9 waiting for the traffic light to change at the Atlantic Avenue intersection, when it was hit by the Palmquist vehicle, which was also headed south.

Mr. Palmquist vehicle then made a U-turn and sped off northbound on Route 9, police said.

He then lost control of his vehicle on a curve at the intersection of old County Route 25, slid across the road and ran into the Stockport Garage building. The vehicle came to rest at the office door entrance. Mr. Palmquist left the scene and was apprehended a short time later traveling south on Route 9.

The four people in the first accident were taken to Columbia Memorial Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, State Police, Stottville first responders and the Greenport Rescue Squad all assisted in the accident.

Mr. Palmquist arraigned before Stockport Justice Harold Horner and released on his own recognizance pending a future court date. 


Jason Tanaka, 27, of Valatie was charged with third degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child by Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Michael Merante and Investigator Anthony Brahm, September 30 at 3:50 p.m.

During an incident on Apple Meadow Lane, Mr. Tanaka allegedly slapped a 22-year-old woman in the face then pulled her from a window as she tried to get away, causing both of them to fall on a one-year-old child. The child was not hurt.

Mr. Tanaka was arraigned in Greenport Court before Justice Robert Brenzel and sent to the county jail in lieu of $1,000 cash bail or bail bond. 


The following face drug- or alcohol-related charges:

*Myles Steeneck, 24, of Catskill was charged with seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and possession of a hypodermic needle by Sheriff’s Sergeant William Zincio, September 29 at 1 p.m.

Mr. Steeneck was in a vehicle on Route 9G/23 when the sergeant found him to have heroin Mr. Steeneck was issued tickets to appear in Greenport Court October 19.

*Timothy Johnson, 22, of Philmont was charged with driving while intoxicated and making an unsafe start by Troopers Charles Butenhoff and Joseph Crowe during a traffic stop on Route 217, Philmont, September 26 at 1:25 a.m.

Mr. Johnson was issued tickets to appear in Philmont Court at a later date.

*William C. Svida, 49, of Hudson was charged with felony driving while intoxicated, first degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and loud exhaust by Trooper Joseph Crowe during a traffic stop on Route 9, Stockport, September 26 at 9:39 p.m.

Mr. Svida was arraigned in Stockport Court and sent to the county jail without bail.

To contact Diane Valden email

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