Two hit-and-run accidents, possibly related, occurred in Ulster County last Friday, with the second one leaving a Gardiner woman dead after her car was forced into a pond.
The first occurred near the Wallkill Post Office at 8:22 p.m. There were no injuries reported, but a caller to police reported that her partner was “tailgated, rearended and rammed up onto the sidewalk in front of the Wallkill bridge/post office.” The caller told police that the vehicle that caused the accident was a black jeep with yellow New York plates, with a driver wearing glasses.
The caller told police that the Jeep headed down Bruyn Turnpike and took a right turn onto Wallkill Avenue by the post office and apparently headed north.
Eight minutes later, a second accident was reported on Sand Hill Road in Gardiner in which a young woman was killed.
State Police said the victim, Hailee Witherel, was unable to get out of her Nissan Sentra after it was forced into a small pond and overturned. When she was removed by first responders, she was transported to MidHudson Regional Hospital in Poughkeepsie, where she was pronounced dead.
This accident is still under investigation and anyone who may have been traveling on Sand Hill Road at that time is asked to contact the New York State Police, SP Highland barracks at 845-691-2922.
A GoFundMe account has been established to assist the family of Hailee Witherel. As of Monday afternoon, more than $22,000 had been raised. To donate, visit gofundme.com/f/a-heartbroken-family