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Update to Pine Plains accident from 8/29/13

Published: 8/30/2013

For More Information Contact:

Captain John Watterson
(845) 486-3860

The Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office reports updated information on the investigation into the serious auto accident from yesterday (8/29/13) in the Town of Pine Plains. The accident is a double-fatality involving teens from the Pine Plains and Stanfordville areas.

Sheriff’s Deputies responded to Schultz Hill Rd approx. 1 mile south of State Route 199 in the Town of Pine Plains at 3:45 pm for a report of an auto accident. Upon arrival it was determined that there were four (4) victims; 2 were deceased at the scene and 2 were transported to hospitals. The identities of the victims are as follows:

  • Zachary Pruner, age 16 of Stanfordville: deceased at the scene
  • Gian Paolo Stagnaro, age 17 of Pine Plains: deceased at the scene
  • Dustin Hale, age 16 of Pine Plains: transported to Albany Med. Center with life-threatening injuries
  • Niall Johnson, age 16 of Pine Plains: transported to St. Francis Hospital with non-life threatening injuries

Preliminary investigation into the accident has indicated that Mr. Hale was operating a 2000 Subaru Impreza northbound on Schultz Hill Rd when he lost control. The vehicle then left the roadway, struck multiple trees, and rolled over. One of the passengers, Mr. Pruner, was ejected and all other occupants stayed in the vehicle. The cause(s) of the accident are still being investigated, however at this time unsafe speed and reckless driving appear to be contributing factors. Autopsies to determine the exact cause(s) of death are scheduled for Saturday 8/31/13 at the Dutchess County Medical Examiner’s Office. The accident is still under investigation by members of the Sheriff’s Office Crash Investigation Unit, and more information may be released as it becomes available. The Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the scene by the Pine Plains Fire Department.