Oil spill causes havoc in Putnam

Special to The News-Times

KENT, N.Y. A diesel fuel spill caused two crashes involving Brewster women and led tothe arrest of a Carmel man on Sunday.

Police Chief Donald Smith said the first crash took place at 8:50 a.m. when officers responded to a report of a slippery road condition off I-84.

As patrolmen arrived, they located a crash on Farmers Mills Road near Whangtown Road in Kent. An investigation revealed that a Jeep operated by Louise Bald, 37, of Brewster, was headed east and as she was negotiating a curve, the vehicle slid on the slippery pavement and overturned. Bald was taken to Putnam Hospital Center where she was admitted for evaluation with a head injury, said Smith.

The chief said while officers were investigating the first crash, a Honda operated by Corrine Newlun, 19, also of Brewster, came along and slid out of control on the oily pavement before crashing into an earthen embankment. Smith said Newlun and her two passengers were shaken but did not require hospital treatment. Two other property damage crashes also were reported.

The chief said the source of the substance was traced to a 1996 Dodge pickup truck operated by Alexander Grace of Carmel. Smith said the vehicle developed a problem with its fuel system and a large quantity of the diesel fuel leaked onto the roadway.

Grace was arrested by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation on a misdemeanor charge of allowing diesel fuel on a highway.

He was released without bail pending a court hearing.

Police said several roads throughout the area were closed for several hours until the oily substance was removed.


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Wednesday, January 5, 2005