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Van transporting people with disabilities crashes, killing driver

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Albany/HV: Van transporting people with disabilities crashes, killing driver
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An employee transporting a client to a medical appointment is dead and two people are injured after a car accident in Chester. YNN's Venise Toussaint has the story.

CHESTER, N.Y. -- A van transporting a disabled teen veered off the road killing the driver and injuring two passengers.

“We’re devastated and kind of in shock. This is the first time in Sullivan ARC history that we’ve lost an employee on the job,” said Sullivan ARC Chief Financial Officer James Krueger.

The accident happened on Route 17 in Chester on Wednesday morning. Police say Kenneth Crockett, 25, was driving the van owned by the New York State Association for Retarded Children when he lost control of the vehicle.

“The vehicle exited the right shoulder of the roadway, through the guiderail, where it traveled down the embankment and hit some trees,” said State Police Captain Tripodo.

Crocket had worked at the Sullivan ARC since 2006, caring for the organizations developmentally disable clients at several group homes. Sullivan ARC representatives say he was taking the 17-year-old client to a doctor’s appointment when the tragedy occurred.

“He was a well liked employee. We never had any issues with him. He was somebody we relied on and called upon and it’s truly a shock,” Krueger said.

Troopers say the teen, who is confined to a wheelchair, was seated in the back of the van. He and a NYSARC aid who was also in the vehicle were rushed to the hospital, where they’re expected to recover from their injuries.

The cause of the accident is still unknown. ARC representatives say grief counselors are on hand to help employees and clients cope with the loss.

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