Several car accidents during the past week remind us all of the need to be careful on Hudson Valley roads.
- Last week, members of the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a serious motor vehicle accident at Bruynswick Road and Route 44/55 in the Town of Gardiner. A preliminary investigation revealed that a 2013 Harley-Davidson motorcycle operated by 31-year-old Dustin James of Middletown collided with a 2011 Toyota Camry driven by 19-year-old Alejandra Rodas-Perez of Bloomingburg. James, an off-duty Village of Walden police officer, was transported by ambulance to Mid-Hudson Regional Hospital where he died.
- On Saturday around 11:20 PM, Red Hook Police received a call reporting a single vehicle rollover crash on Feller Newmark Road just east of Crestwood Road. Responding officers determined that 27-year-old Nikko T. Garcia of Waterbury, CT, lost control of his 2015 Toyota while traveling east on Feller Newmark Road. The car left the roadway, hit two trees, flipped over and came to a complete stop on its roof. Garcia and a passenger, a 27-year-old Connecticut, man sustained minor injuries but refused medical treatment. Garcia was found to be intoxicated and allegedly provided a breath test which resulted in a .16% blood alcohol content, twice the legal limit. Garcia was charged with two counts of drunken driving, both misdemeanors, as well as multiple traffic infractions.
- On Monday just before 11:00 PM, New York State Police officers from the Wappinger barracks were dispatched to a two-car auto collision on Route 9D, just south of the Breakneck Tunnel. An investigation determined that 61-year-old Lynford R. Davis of Beacon tried to pass a northbound car in a no passing zone and hit a southbound car head-on, police say. After the head-on crash, Davis’s car left the road and hit a utility pole. Lynford was airlifted to Westchester Medical Center with serious injuries and is listed in critical but stable condition. The other driver, 29-year-old Gregory V. Prince of Rockland County, was transported by ambulance to Westchester Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.
- Town of Newburgh police Lt. James Nenni said Joseph Benjamin, 23, of Walden, was driving south on Rock Cut Road at 4:15 PM when his 2001 Audi sedan drifted into the northbound lane, striking a 2006 Toyota sedan driven by Jonah Goverman, 24, of Stormville. Benjamin told police he fell asleep at the wheel. Both men were taken by ambulance to the Newburgh campus of St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital. Benjamin was treated for lower body injuries and Goverman was treated for head and body injuries. No tickets were issued.
As we mentioned in our April 3rd blog post (Road Accidents & Crashes), road maintenance and alcohol-related crashes are two of the more common sources of traffic accidents to be aware of when traveling on Orange County and Hudson Valley roads. Also, our January 16th blog post (Orange County Storms Cause Several Car Accidents: Brush Up on Your NY No-Fault Insurance law), reminds us that car accidents frequently give rise to injury claims, which lead to insurance claims. New York is one of a dozen states that follow a “no-fault” system when it comes to insurance coverage after a car accident. No-fault coverage eliminates injury liability claims and lawsuits in smaller accidents in exchange for prompt direct payment of medical bills and lost wages — up to certain dollar amounts — regardless of who was at fault for the accident.