A day of fun turns to tragedy in Schoharie County. A 16-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl died Wednesday after the ATV they were riding on collided with a dump truck on Route 30 in Gilboa. Our Solomon Syed has more.
GILBOA, N.Y. -- What's left of a crumpled four-wheeler sits in the middle of Route 30 where its driver, 16-year-old Jeffrey Jones, and passenger, 12-year-old Brittany Paes, came zooming out of a field and crashed into a dump truck loaded with large rocks, traveling at full speed.
"They were transported by ambulances from Grand Gorge to Margaretville Hospital, and they are deceased," sad Schoharie County Sheriff Tony Desmond.
Only one helmet was found at the scene, making it unclear if both Jones and Paes were wearing proper safety gear.
Authorities spent much of Wednesday on the scene trying to determine exactly what caused the crash.
Desmond said, "The driver of the ATV, I don't know why they wouldn't be able to see the truck, but that's something we'll never know. Obviously, the truck driver did see them, but not in time."
Skid marks in the road tell that story, but one that's yet to be written is how much Jones and Paes will be missed. Family gathered near the scene of the accident, offering each other condolences, trying to make some sense of the tragedy.
Both were students at nearby Gilboa-Conesville Central School.
The superintendent issued the statement which read in part, "We express our condolences to the families, the students and all affected community members. As always, we will stay together as a family."
Sheriff Desmond said, "It's a very tragic thing that's happened here. They're from a very rural area. Everybody knows everybody, and it's just very sad."
The school will have grief counselors on hand for anyone who needs it. They've also cancelled their Kindergarten screening and won't be participating in the Flag Day Parade, however, Regents Exams will continue as scheduled.
We received tragic news that two of our students were fatally injured in an accident this afternoon. On behalf of the Gilboa-Conesville Central School Community, we express our condolences to the families, the students and all affected community members.
As always, we will stay together as a family. Grief counseling will be available during school hours for students, staff and community members on Thursday and Friday. Further information on counseling will be available on Thursday morning.
No further comments will be made until we have all the facts and have assessed the situation in order to do what is best for our entire community.
Ruth Reeve, Superintendent