Wednesday, July 23, 2014

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Four dead in boating accident on the Hudson

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Albany/HV: Four dead in boating accident on the Hudson
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Four people are now confirmed dead in Sunday morning's boating accident on the Hudson River in Dutchess County. Our John Wagner reports.

TIVOLI, N.Y. --- Calls came in by 6:30 a.m. reporting the emergency, and when Tivoli's fire department responded, they found the unthinkable. A 19-foot boat had been cruising northbound at a high speed and slammed against a concrete obstruction ten feet off the eastern shore.

The Dutchess County Sheriff's Office said John Uvino of Saugerties was ejected and died. Robert MacArthur, Deena Cordero, and Jay Bins, all of Kingston, drowned. They were found in the partially submerged boat.

But Joseph Zehnick of Kingston miraculously climbed a 20-foot cliff, despite serious injuries, and found an unlocked building with a phone to call 911. He's now at St. Francis Hospital.

"There was a lot of boaters on the river on a nice Sunday like today, someone could have pulled up some point that day, but without him making it up that hill it's just whoever would have found him first," said Marc Hildenbrand, Tivoli Fire Chief.

Jessica Hotaling of Hyde Park was able to get on shore where Tivoli's fire chief stabilized her and sent her on to Albany Medical Center.

"She was very upset, she was cold. I covered her with some blankets that I had in the trunk. She really couldn't tell me much about this scene, what had happened. She was just very, very upset," said Hildenbrand.

Autopsies are now being conducted and Paul Piastro, Captain at the Dutchess County Sheriffs Office, says the investigation is on going.

"The darkness of that time of morning and possible speed and we're still investigating other angles such as alcohol involvement," he said.

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