Shohola truck driver involved in fatal crash

| 16 Jul 2015 | 03:15

By Nathan Mayberg
Two students from Goshen High School lost their lives Tuesday in a horrific collision with a truck driver from Shohola.

Two other students were injured in the crash, with one still fighting for his life in a New York hospital Thursday.

The students, Antonio Baglivo and Paul Van Doran, were the school's summer driver education program when a tractor-trailer driven by August Harlacher, 61, of Shohola struck their vehicle.

According to Warwick, N.Y., town police Lt. Thomas Maslanka on Thursday morning, Lucas O'Connor was in the intensive care unit of the trauma center at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla with life-threatening injuries.

The driver of the car, Claudia Krebs, was released from the hospital on Wednesday. All the young people in the car were 16 years old and attended high school in Goshen, N.Y.

The students were learning to drive with an instructor from the Decat Driving School in Middletown. The car was at a busy four-way intersection in the Warwick hamlet of Edenville at the time of the accident.

According to Maslanka, driving instructor Julio Anglero, 60, of Middletown was in the front passenger seat as the driver made a left turn from County Route 41 onto County Route 1A in Warwick. The car was struck by a 2006 Freightliner truck operated by Harlacher.

Anglero and Harlacher both escaped serious injury. Baglivo and Van Doran died soon after the crash.

'A hard couple of years'On Wednesday afternoon at Goshen High School, friends recalled the boys fondly.

David Lorenzo, who graduated from Goshen High School last month, visited the school for a short time Wednesday. He was friendly with Baglivo, who was born in Brooklyn and played on the school's football team.

"He was a really good kid," Lorenzo said.

They were in the same math class together.

"He was quiet in class," Lorenzo said. "Outside of class, he would be very energetic, outgoing."

The two would stay after school to get extra help in math and to prepare for state testing. They both took the Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test in consideration of joining the military, he said.

Baglivo spoke about his interest in joining the military and being a firefighter, said Lorenzo.

This isn't the first tragedy involving Goshen High School students in recent years. Last year, Muswar Ahmad was found dead in an abandoned home, and Lance Golubinski died in a car crash. Meghan Sager died in late 2014.

"It's been a hard couple years," said Taylor Cummings, who graduated in 2014.

She worked with Van Doran on the stage crew of last year's school musical, "The Sound of Music."

Cummings, who is currently attending SUNY Orange, remembered Van Doran as a "funny guy."

"He liked to drive me crazy backstage in a good way," she said.

Van Doran was also on the team's ski club.

This past year, O'Connor was a member of the school's ski club and Science Olympiad, and was a varsity track and cross-country runner.

Goshen School District Superintendent Daniel Connor said the students were all "good kids."

Krebs was named to the Goshen Greats earlier this year for her accomplishments in fitness, nutrition and wellness. She has been involved in student government and is an honor roll student.

Connor said the district has not yet addressed the future of the driver education program.

The two students who died "are going to be big-time missed," he said.

The lost students had "their whole life in front of them and all of a suddenly it's gone," he said.

A dangerous intersectionA makeshift memorial with flowers and a sign was placed Wednesday at the scene of the crash at the intersection of Blooms Corner Road and County Route 1A.

Alice McMechen lives near the scene of the accident. She's written letters to county officials calling for a full stop light to be placed at the crossroads.

After a previous fatal crash, a flashing light was placed there. McMechen said that's not enough.

"It's far too easy for people to be killed" at the intersection, McMechen said.

Warwick resident Ed Sattler, who was riding his bike past the crash scene on Wednesday, agreed.

"The town is right on the money, and the neighborhood is right on the money, with what they have asked for — for years," he said. "For one person to get hurt is too many."

Town of Warwick Supervisor Michael Sweeton said town officials had asked the previous county administration for a full stop light but was rejected.

“This case underscores how much it warrants it,” Sweeton said.

After Tuesday's crash, Sweeton asked County Executive Steve Neuhaus for a full stop light.

On Wednesday, Neuhaus spokesman Justin Rodriguez issued a statement on behalf of Neuhaus stating that a review of the previous county study would be initiated.

The speed limit on County Route 1A is 45 mph, but cars were exceeding that speed on Wednesday as they came down the hills on either side.