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Medical issue thought to be crash cause

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By DIANE VALDEN

CLAVERACK—An Orange County man was killed in a two-vehicle accident on Route 66 near the Fish and Game Road intersection, December 29 at 10:05 a.m.

Columbia 911 dispatched Sheriff’s deputies, Claverack and Mellenville firefighters and the Greenport Rescue Squad to the accident scene.

A Sheriff’s Office investigation revealed that William Healy,56, of Walden was operating his 2013 Honda Ridgeline southbound on state Route 66 when he crossed the yellow line and struck a vehicle that was headed north on Route 66. The vehicle struck by the Healy vehicle was a 2024 Peterbilt tow truck, operated by Kacey Gilchrist, 26, of Ellington, CT.

After impact with the tow truck, the Healy vehicle completely crossed over into the northbound lane and ultimately struck and broke a Verizon telephone pole. The telephone pole did not support any power lines. After the crash, telecommunications lines were in the roadway making it impossible for traffic to pass.

Members of the Greenport Rescue Squad, Deputy Sheriff’s and Claverack firefighters preformed life-saving measures on Mr. Healy at the scene before he was ultimately taken to Columbia Memorial Health. Mr. Healy was pronounced dead by CMH doctors. The cause of the death was determined to be a medical emergency that may have occurred before the crash.

Mr. Gilchrist refused medical attention and did not report any injuries.

NYS Department of Transportation assisted with the road closure at the scene. State Route 66 was closed to traffic between Fish and Game Road and Stottville Road from 10:05 a.m. until it was fully reopened at 4:37 p.m., according to a press release from Columbia County Sheriff Donald J. Krapf.

National Grid and Verizon were requested to the scene.

Firefighters were back in service 11:39 a.m.

Hudson

Hudson Police arrested Ryan L. Winters, 39, of Pine Plains based on an active felony arrest warrant out of Hudson City Court, December 23. Mr. Winters faces charges including one count of second degree grand larceny, a class C felony; 10 counts each of second degree forgery and possession of a forged instrument, both class D felonies.

The arrest stems from an incident reported October 14, 2023, when the victim reported to Hudson Police that a substantial sum of money had been stolen from his company’s bank account without his knowledge. The theft occurred from November 15, 2022 through October 6, 2023. During that time Mr. Winters allegedly pilfered over $85,000, said police. Mr. Winters allegedly forged several checks from the victim’s bank account and made numerous unauthorized credit card purchases. During the timeframe of the alleged crime, Mr. Winters was an independent contractor working for the victim’s family business.

The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office located and apprehended Mr. Winters in Greenport, December 23. He was subsequently transferred to the Hudson Police Department for processing. He was arraigned in Hudson City Court by Judge John Connor, who set bail in the amount of $5,000 cash, $10,000 bond or $15,000 secured bond. Mr. Winters was sent to the Columbia County Jail and a future court appearance scheduled.

Elizaville

Two teenage girls reported missing by their families were located by Albany Police and returned home Christmas Day, December 25.

State Police in Livingston were searching for the girls reported missing from the Elizaville area after temporarily relocating from Albany.

The 15-year-old and 17-year-old were reported missing by their families and last seen December 17 in Elizaville. Both girls were known to frequent the Albany area, particularly the Colonie Center and Crossgates Mall shopping areas. Photos and descriptions of the girls were publicized.

To contact Diane Valden email dvalden@columbiapaper.com

Copake man sentenced for possessing child pornography

ALBANY—Christopher Stickles, 35, of Copake was sentenced December 20 to 85 months in prison for receiving and possessing child pornography.

United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman and Craig L. Tremaroli, special agent in charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), made the announcement in a press release.

As part of his previously entered guilty plea, Mr. Stickles admitted that between January 2021 and August 2022, he accessed the internet to visit file-sharing sites and websites that contained child pornography. He further admitted that while on these sites, he downloaded numerous still images and video files that contained child pornography.

United States District Judge Anne M. Nardacci also sentenced Mr. Stickles to a 15-year-term of supervised release to begin after he serves his term of imprisonment, and to pay a total of $6,000 in restitution to two victims of the offenses of conviction. He will be required to register as a sex offender upon his release from prison.

This case was investigated by the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force, which includes special agents of the FBI, and state and local police investigators, including from the New York State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorney Rick Belliss prosecuted the case as part of Project Safe Childhood. Launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, Project Safe Childhood is led by United States Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS). Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, visit https://www.justice.gov/psc

Trapped accident victim expected to recover

Claverack Fire District Facebook page

The A.B. Shaw Fire Company, Mellenville Volunteer Fire Company #1, Greenport Rescue Squad and State Police were dispatched December 23 at 1:26 a.m. by Columbia County 911 to a rollover motor vehicle crash with injuries and entrapment on Route 9H just north of Fish and Game Road in Claverack. First arriving A.B. Shaw units found a single occupant trapped in and under the vehicle. Extrication crews from A.B. Shaw and Greenport Rescue worked diligently to free the driver from the wreckage. The patient was treated on scene by Greenport Rescue and LifeNet NY, then flown to Albany Medical Center and is expected to survive the injuries. The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, Columbia County Fire Coordinator’s Office and Columbia County EMS Coordinator’s Office assisted on scene.

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