Five injured after Mettowee River crash

All injured in scary crash

A 14-year-old girl is being credited with saving the life of a fellow passenger after a crash Saturday evening on Route 22 that saw the vehicle they were riding in come to rest upside-down in the Mettowee River, pinning one of the occupants in the water.

Jenna Boisclair of Andrews Lane heard the cries of 19-year-old Vincent Garolli of Big Burch Hill Road as he called for help.

Garolli, police said, was pinned by the lower legs under the car on the river side, facedown in the river, and despite Boisclair’s own injuries she went into the water to help.

“I don’t know how he would have kept his head out of the water if it wasn’t for her,” Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy Tim Carroll said Monday. “She definitely saved his life.”

Garolli was pinned under the car in the loose mud of the bottom of the river after being ejected from the black four-door Honda. The Honda had rolled approximately 25 feet down the embankment after passing through a guardrail.

Garolli’s position was similar to kneeling, and with nothing to hang onto he could not have kept his face out of the icy waters of the Mettowee, Carroll said.

Garolli was in the water for at least 15 minutes before he could be freed by rescue workers.

Carroll said due to the position of the vehicle against the riverbank he could not exert enough force down onto the car to allow rescue workers to get Garollo out from under the car until the Granville Hook & Ladder Fire Company used the winch from their rescue truck to raise it.

The crash occurred just before 8 p.m., as the vehicle was northbound on Route 22. Police said neither alcohol nor excessive speed were factors in the crash. Skid marks at the scene show the vehicle had begun to lose control before leaving the road, striking a cable type guardrail before leaving the roadway and coming to rest upside-down, mostly in the water.

“They’re lucky they’re alive,” Carroll said. 

Police said the case remains under investigation and charges are pending.

Carroll said he could not comment further on the pending charges, on who would be charged, or on reports that one of the passengers might have caused the crash by grabbing at the steering wheel during travel.

The others in the car include the driver, 18-year-old Jessica Manell of County Route 28; Devin Lewis of DeKalb Road, 20 and Charlette Gonsalves, 17, also of DeKalb Road. The other passengers apparently did not hear Garolli and had gone up the embankment to the roadside to attempt to get help.

Manell was taken to Glens Falls Hospital for leg and back injuries as were her passengers who suffered similar injuries. 

Investigating the crash were Sgt. Nick Spiezio and deputies Tim Carroll and Travis Earl. Assisting at the scene were New York State Troopers White and Palleschi as well as environmental conservation officer Ben Bramledge. Granville Hook & Ladder, Granville Engine and Hose and the Granville Rescue Squad responded to the scene.

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