Posted at: 06/13/2012 2:36 PM
| Updated at: 06/13/2012 11:19 PM
By: WNYT Staff
GILBOA - Two young friends died together Wednesday afternoon while crossing a rural state road on their all terrain vehicle in the town of Gilboa.
The mangled wreckage in the middle of State Route 30, was not only difficult to look at, it was also a horrifying reminder to friends and relatives who had gathered, of the violent collision that ended two promising young lives.
"What we know is that we heard that another truck ahead of this truck had been traveling ahead of this truck and saw the ATV stopped in the field but by the time the other truck got here, obviously, they were pulling across the road," said Schoharie County Sheriff Tony Desmond.
The victims have been identified as Jeffrey Jones, 16, who had just finished his sophomore year at Gilboa-Conesville High School one day earlier. He was a member of the varsity soccer team.
His passenger was 12-year old Brittany Paes, a friend and neighbor, who finished the 7th grade a day earlier. She was a member of the modified basketball team.
The accident occurred right in front of Brittany's house where the sheriff said there were several witnesses.
Accident reconstruction teams spent all afternoon Wednesday taking measurements and collecting forensic evidence at the scene.
According to sources, the dent high up on the dump truck's grill suggests the ATV was probably airborne at the moment of impact.
Sheriff Desmond says, even though it's preliminary, speed does not appear to be a factor. Everything so far, he added, appears to be a tragic accident.
Gilboa-Conesville School Superintendent Ruth Reeve issued a statement expressing condolences to the families, vowing to stay together as a school family, and offering grief counseling Thursday and Friday morning to students, staff, and community members who are affected.