Washington County community mourns loss of longtime public servant


ARGYLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The town of Argyle is mourning the loss of a long time public servant killed in a crash.

The fatal accident also caused an unintended public safety crisis that had surrounding communities jumping into action.

On Tuesday morning, Argyle Highway Superintendent Bob Humiston was taking a quick coffee break with three of his employees at the Auction Barn restaurant on Route 40 planning out their day clearing snowy roadways.

But police say, as they were exiting the parking lot, their pickup was struck by another vehicle. Humiston, who had served his community for decades, died as a result of the crash.

The three other town employees in the pickup and the 19 year old driver of the other vehicle were injured and rushed to area hospitals.

The crash had also created an unintended public safety crisis says Argyle Town Supervisor Bob Henke.

“Half my Highway crew was wiped out. So there was that profound sense of loss; then we are in the middle of a snow storm.”

Henke, a lifelong friend and colleague of Humiston’s, was forced to push aside his grief and tackle the town’s more than 90 miles of snow covered roadways calling retired Highway Department employees back into service.

The director of Washington County Department Of Public Works Deborah Donohue also sent plow trucks as did all the surrounding communities. Even Humiston’s grieving co-workers were out plowing.

“Which is a very noble effort on their part given the circumstances. The town guys kept poring into the garage and everyone made a plan. So we got it all cleared pretty quick,” said Donohue.

Both Henke and Donahue called Humiston a friend and mentor, a man who was called a boss but better remembered as a humble leader.

“He cared more about the community than anything else.”

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