KEENE VALLEY - State police say a 79-year-old man has died and a 65-year-old woman was hospitalized after their vehicle crashed Tuesday evening, March 11.
State Police reported Michael Curran of Keene was traveling north on state Route 73 in Keene Valley shortly at 6:49 p.m., when his Toyota 4-Runner went off the road's west shoulder, hit a utility pole and then collided head-on with a tree.
The Keene and Keene Valley volunteer fire departments both responded to the scene of the crash and treated Curran.
Rusty Hall, Keene Valley fire chief, said seven members of his department were on scene and about the same amount from the Keene fire department. Hall said they found Curran unresponsive when checking for signs of life.
Frank Whitelaw, Essex County coroner, pronounced Curran deceased at 8:37 p.m., about 90 minutes after the crash. Curran's body was then transported to Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake.
Whitelaw conducted the autopsy March 12 and said the results show coronary artery disease as the cause of the crash.
"It started out as a medical event," Whitelaw said. "His wife tried to arouse him as the car started veering to the left. He was not asleep. He was unconscious."
Whitelaw said the death was not due to Curran's medical condition, but from multiple traumatic injuries caused by the crash. Whitelaw ruled Curran's death accidental.
Troopers say a passenger, Curran's wife Jeanne Warner, was taken to Elizabethtown Community Hospital for treatment of leg and arm injuries.
Jennifer Fleishman, public information officer, for the New York State Police, said Curran drove straight off the rode, which matches Whitelaw's findings.
"There was no evasive actions," Fleishman said. "He did not try to brake."
Hall agreed with that early assessment.
"That's our opinion as well," Hall said. "His tracks were a straight line for a long distance along the snow bank."