CLERMONT, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Two people have been arrested after a teenager was fatally hit by a pickup truck in Columbia County. New York State Police have also identified the teen as Romelo Cruze, 14.

On September 23, police responded to the fatal crash on Route 9 in Clermont. Police found that a Ford F550 struck Cruze, who walking in the roadway. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

While investigating the crash, police said Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health in Red Hook reported Cruze, a resident of the facility, missing. According to police, two staff members responsible for Cruze, Churchil Orodi, 39, and Beryl Orech, 36, both of Poughkeepsie, provided business records and written statements to investigators saying Cruze was in good condition at their facility at 5:30 a.m. However, police said the crash happened around 4:50 a.m. and about 4.5 miles north of the facility.


  • First-degree endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person (felony)
  • First-degree falsifying business records (felony)
  • Making a punishable false written statement (misdemeanor)

Orodi and Orech were arrested on October 4. Both were issued appearance tickets to return to the town of Red Hook Court on October 26.