ESPERANCE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Montgomery County Sheriff’s office is investigating an accident that killed a 19-year-old from New Jersey.
The Montgomery County Sheriff says Katie Falgiano was participating in a popular mud bogging and off-roading event called Mountain Maddness- located on Lape Road in the town of Charleston.
Participants use their own motor vehicles. The Sheriff says the 19 year old from Budd Lake, New Jersey was a passenger in a Jeep Grand Cherokee when a rollover accident occurred around 9pm Saturday. “They we’re traveling through one of the mud pits and it somehow got tipped up on its side. And rolled over and she was ejected.” Said Sheriff Jeff Smith.
Smith added that spectators were able to pull Katie out from under the vehicle. First responders did their best to save her as she was flown by LifeNet to Albany Medical Center where she was pronounced deceased.
“All accounts from witnesses were that there was no speed involved. This was a street legal vehicle it had window. It was just that the windows were open and she had no seatbelt on. So a seatbelt certainly could have made a difference in this case. But driving on private property there’s no obligation for her to do that.” Sheriff Smith said.
The property owner who the Sheriff and Town Supervisor have identified as John Scrima is required to obtain a permit for each event. Another similar one is scheduled for August 22nd.
Charleston Town Supervisor Robert Sullivan told News10’s Anya Tucker that the fatal accident and the details of what led up to it will be discussed at this Wednesday night’s town meeting.
“We are still investigating this to make sure it was handled properly. If everything was handled properly and this was just a tragic accident, we don’t want to be the ones to say that it’s a bad event.” Said Sheriff Smith.
While the investigation continues, Katie Falgiano’s family has set up a gofundme page to help cover the sudden and unexpected funeral expenses. Her sister said Katie’s life will live on through everyone’s memories and as an organ donor someone’s child, mom or dad will be able to live a long and happy life.
Both the property owner and event coordinator did not return News10’s calls for comment.