When an accident or an incident involving a motor vehicle occurs, it’s all-hands-on-deck for the responding agencies.
North Granville Hose Co. had its hands full responding to three serious calls involving motor vehicles in four days.
The first of the three saw a severe motor vehicle accident on County Route 12 on March 20, with first responders dispatched at 11:22 p.m.
The driver, Anthony Huntington, of Whitehall, had to be removed from his pickup truck in the middle of the road after striking multiple trees, with the last one sending the engine into the dashboard of his truck, trapping Huntington.
“A preliminary investigation determined that a pickup truck being driven by Anthony Huntington of Whitehall left the roadway and struck two trees before coming to rest in the middle of the roadway,” State Police Director of Public Information Beau Duffy said. “Huntington was extricated from the vehicle and flown to Albany Medical Center.”
North Granville Hose Co. Chief Scott McCullen said his crew was able to remove Huntington safely from the battered vehicle. With the vehicle’s frame completely bent inward, McCullen said he had not seen an accident like that in a “very long time.”
“Call came in with one occupant in the vehicle unconscious,” McCullen said. “The truck hit three trees and the last tree was head on into the tree which pushed the motor up into the dash.”
A call to Albany Medical Center Hospital’s public relations department to request an update on Huntington’s injuries and condition was unsuccessful.
“Our response is no information,” said an Albany Medical Center Hospital spokesman.
Duffy said via email on March 25 the incident is still under investigation with a full-detailed report to follow.
Upon arrival on a March 22 single-vehicle accident on Route 22 near Dublin Road, State Police and North Granville fire observed a fully involved vehicle fire and a grass and brush fire as well.
The driver, Damien M. Beayon, 35, of Whitehall, was found outside the vehicle on the ground in pain.
“Beayon was transported to Glens Falls Hospital by Granville EMS for treatment,” Duffy said. “The circumstances of the crash remain under investigation.”
McCullen said the accident resulted in Beayon’s vehicle traveling 50 yards upon impact and subsequently caused a brush fire with the dry grass and wood located near the speed barrier close to County Route 12A.
“Heavy fire on that one… it was a pretty good impact,” McCullen said.
The third vehicle incident resulted in a second fire, which could have turned out disastrous if the wind pushed the flames towards a shed in the background of the vehicle that went ablaze.
Located at 27 Loomis Road, the owners of the residence, according to Washington County’s Real Property Tax Service map, are listed as Walter Blake and Stephene Blake.
McCullen said the owners were attempting to sell a vehicle that had been sitting on the lawn for over four years. When the prospective buyer tried to start the engine up, the situation went south as the motor blew up, also causing a brush fire with dry grass surrounding the vehicle.
“That one, we got pretty lucky with that one with the weather,” McCullen said.
With a forward attack of the flames, the department was able to extinguish the flames before they made contact with the work shed behind the vehicle.
“It all comes from the training,” McCullen said.
McCullen said the three calls in four days occurred while the department has been “coincidentally quiet” were all part of serving and protecting the community. He believes the fires were all accidental with no foul play involved.
“It’s rough on the guys, but they’re good sports,” McCullen said. “There’s no signs of people setting cars on fire or arsonists.”
With the two brush fires taking place a day apart, McCullen said he was optimistic the community will follow the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s annual burn ban, which runs from March 16 until May 14.
“Hopefully, everyone abides by the burn ban,” he said.