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Massachusetts woman dies in crash with tractor trailer


CLERMONT–A Massachusetts woman was killed when her car crashed into a tanker tractor trailer on State Route 9G, October 20 at 8:41 a.m.

Helene M. Stril-Rever, 25, of Waltham, Mass., was driving a 2007 Toyota Yaris south on Route 9G, just north of Cemetery Road, when for an unknown reason her car crossed over into the opposite lane, where it ran head-on into a northbound 2003 Peterbilt tractor trailer owned by Borwegen Trucking, Inc. of Greenville.

Walter J. Reeves, 42, of Freehold was driving the truck and attempted to avoid the oncoming Stril-Rever vehicle, Sheriff David Harrison Jr., said in a press release.

The trucker was hauling a tank trailer used to transport asphalt liquid oil. The tank was empty at the time of the accident.

A Sheriff’s Office Corrections Transportation Unit traveling to Ulster County to pick up an inmate saw part of the accident.

Ms. Stril-Rever was pronounced dead at the scene by Columbia County Coroner Dr. George Davis.

Mr. Reeves was not hurt. Both drivers were wearing seatbelts. No other occupants were in either vehicle.

An autopsy is scheduled to be conducted at St. Peter’s Hospital, October 21.

Clermont firefighters responded to the scene and Germantown firefighters assisted in closing Route 9G at Round Top Road. Northern Dutchess Paramedics and County Emergency Management Services Coordinator P.J. Keeler responded as well.

In addition to Coroner Davis and Sheriff Harrison, the Sheriff’s Incident Scene Investigation Unit, Undersheriff James Sweet, Captain David Bartlett, Senior Investigators William Foster and Kevin Skype, Investigator Mark Dunspaugh, Sergeant John DeRocha, Deputies Louis Bray, Toby VanAlstyne and Heath Benansky were on the scene as well. 


Wayne R. Williams Sr., 50, of Hudson was charged with third degree grand larceny, a class D felony, by Livingston State Police, October 19.

State Police say the arrest comes in connection with their investigation into an alleged food and beverage ticket scam at the state volunteer firemen’s softball tournament at the Firemen’s Home in August.

The investigation revealed that Mr. Williams allegedly went to the tournament with his own tickets, similar to the ones being sold as a fundraiser at the tournament. The tickets were to be used by the purchaser to exchange for food and beverages.

Police say the scam resulted in a loss of $3,442 to the Greenport Pumper Company # 1, which hosted the tournament fundraiser.

Police note that Mr. Williams is not a fireman.

He was arraigned in Hudson City Court before Judge Richard Koweek and was released on his own recognizance to reappear November 17. 


Heather l. Johnson, 39, of Ghent was charged with grand larceny by Livingston State Police, October 19.

Police say Ms. Johnson was hired by a woman to paint the inside of her house. The woman gave Ms. Johnson permission to use her debit card to buy paint supplies, but Ms. Johnson allegedly failed to return the debit card and later continued to use it without the owner’s permission or knowledge, and withdrew more than $3,500 at ATMs around Columbia County over four months.

Ms. Johnson was issued a ticket to appear in Stuyvesant Court at a later date. 


William F. Graffam III, 56, of Ghent was charged with being a fugitive from justice by Deputies Heath Benansky and Joshua Oakes, October 12 at 9:20 p.m.

Deputies say that Mr. Graffam is wanted in Georgia for two counts of first degree forgery.

Sent to the county jail without bail, Mr. Graffam will be extradited by Georgia authorities to answer the charges. 


A woman was hurt in a one-car rollover accident on State Route 295 at the intersection with Barnegat Road, October 12 at 9:37 p.m.

Sushilaben Patel, 47, of Pittsfield, Mass., was driving a 2000 Pontiac east when she became nervous about oncoming traffic and pulled her vehicle to the right side of the road, where it encountered some loose dirt.

Ms. Patel overcorrected and hit the brakes, which caused the vehicle to spin around backwards and cross the road. The rear of the vehicle hit a guardrail, then the vehicle overturned and landed upright off the north shoulder.

The Chatham Rescue Squad took Ms. Patel to the Berkshire Medical Center for treatment of facial injuries.

Deputy Todd Hyson ticketed Ms. Patel for failure to keep right. She is slated to appear in Canaan Court at a later date. 


The following face alcohol-related charges;

*Rodney E. Fisher, 41, of Claverack was charged with driving while intoxicated, operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content greater than .08% and failure to keep right by Deputies Brendan Filli and Reagan Anderson during a traffic stop on Old Lane, Claverack, October 9 at 1:27 a.m.

He was released with traffic tickets directing him to appear in Claverack Court November 20.

*Jason Stewart, 31, of Nassau was charged with driving while intoxicated, operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content greater than .08%, consuming an alcoholic beverage in a motor vehicle, failure to keep right, uninspected motor vehicle and inadequate exhaust by Deputies Brendan Filli and Reagan Anderson during a traffic stop on Route 203, Kinderhook, October 10 at 1:30 a.m.

Mr. Stewart was released with tickets and directed to appear in Kinderhook Town Court October 27.

To contact Diane Valden email

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