2012-05-16 / Front Page
Busy Morning for Emergency Responders in Garrison
Back-to-back emergency calls in Garrison kept firefighters and EMS personnel on the go for several hours early Thursday.
Fire destroyed a large wood frame garage at the Howard residence on Spruce Lane while a short time later a multi-vehicle crash on Route 9 sent several people to the hospital—one with serious injuries.
Garrison FD Chief Rodney Tudor said the first call was received at 6:49 a.m. when the single story three car detached wood frame garage ignited with one vehicle inside the garage and a second outside.
The chief found the 20 foot by 30 foot building fully engulfed in flames when he arrived on the scene and sounded a general alarm besides requesting mutual aid from the Cold Spring, Continental Village, Putnam Valley and North Highlands Departments. While crews were battling the inferno, 20 minutes later the crash took place on Route 9 near the Garrison Golf Club. Four vehicles were involved.
Putnam County Sheriff's Department Captain William McNamara said the crash took place when a southbound vehicle driven by Sanusi Conteh of Poughkeepsie sideswiped another southbound vehicle that was merging from two lanes into one. That vehicle was operated by Martin Diamond of Poughkeepsie.
Authorities said Conteh's minivan went out of control and crossed into the northbound lane of traffic and slammed into a car driven by Matt Liberta of Monroe in Orange County before spinning out of control and striking the fourth vehicle operated by Joseph Isidore of New City in Rockland County.
Chief Tudor said several occupants had to be extricated before being taken to area hospitals. Diamond was airlifted by a STAT-Flight helicopter to the Westchester Medical Center.
Police on the state, county, city, town and village levels assisted Sheriff's Department personnel while fire and EMS support responded from Westchester, Dutchess, Orange, Rockland and several Putnam departments.
Tudor told the PCN&R: "All heck broke loose at once. I was still requesting mutual aid for the fire when the serious crash was reported forcing us to redirect personnel and request additional assistance from our neighboring departments."
Deputy Andrew Kristan who investigated the crash summoned Conteh for unsafe passing.
Route 9 was closed to traffic until 10 a.m. resulting in massive traffic tie-ups throughout greater Philipstown.