Four people killed in Andes accidents

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By Brian Sweeney
Four area residents died last week as the result of injuries sustained in two separate accidents in the Town of Andes.

Killed in an All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) crash on May 3 were the driver John W. Morris, 32, and a passenger, Julie M. Manon, 45. Mr. Morris was pronounced dead at Margaretville Hospital and Ms. Manon died the following day at Albany Medical Center.

Two elderly Andes residents were found dead on May 4 after their car had plummeted over a steep embankment off Woodland Hills Drive in the Town of Andes. Killed in that crash were Arthur C. Morris, 88, and his wife, Madeleine P. Morris, 89. They were not related to the ATV accident victim.

Struck a tree
State police said the ATV accident occurred about 8:30 p.m. last Wednesday on Weaver Hollow Road in the Town of Andes. The police accident reconstruction team determined that Mr. Morris had been operating a Suzuki 230CC ATV south on Weaver Hollow when the crash occurred. While attempting to negotiate a left turn in the roadway, Mr. Morris drove off the right shoulder and struck a tree with the right front of the vehicle.

Ms. Manon, who was a passenger on the back of the ATV, was ejected and the vehicle came to rest on top of Mr. Morris. Investigators said neither of the riders had been wearing a helmet.
Both accident victims were transported to Margaretville Hospital. Mr. Morris was pronounced dead at the hospital as a result of massive head trauma. Ms. Manon was stabilized and transported to Albany Medical Center with serious internal injuries and head trauma. She died from her injuries the following day.

State police said toxicology results are pending.
Margaretville Fire Department personnel assisted at the scene.

Crash kills elderly couple
Shortly after 10 a.m. on May 4, the Delaware County 911 system dispatched state police to Woodland Hills Drive to investigate a report of a deceased victim inside a vehicle. Hunters had discovered the car.

Trooper Michael Paoli determined that the car had plunged over a steep incline and struck a small tree. Mr. Morris was found lying partially out of the driver’s side of the vehicle.
The trooper determined that the vehicle had failed to negotiate a right turn while leaving the driveway of a nearby residence. Upon confirming that the location was a seasonal residence belonging to Mr. Morris, the trooper was informed that Mr. Morris’ wife, Madeleine, should have also been at this location.

Search organized
After Mrs. Morris’ purse was discovered in the vehicle, a search party was commenced about noon, utilizing personnel from the Andes Fire Department.

Within approximately 10 minutes, Mrs. Morris’ body was found at a vacant seasonal residence at 425 Woodland Hills, about 75 yards from the vehicle.
State police said that Mrs. Morris was also deceased and was observed to have a laceration on the top of her head.

Investigators said there was no indication of foul play at either scene. Based on the position of the driver’s seat, police said it appears that Mrs. Morris had been driving at the time of the accident.
Delaware County Medical Examiner Dr. Richard Ucci responded to the scene and directed that the bodies be transported to Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton. Autopsies determined that Mr. Morris died of positional asphyxiation. The cause of death for Mrs. Morris was ruled to be due to exposure (hypothermia). Both deaths were ruled as being accidental.

Police are theorizing that the accident occurred the previous night.