Community responds after Lake George crash | Local

LAKE GEORGE — Community members are grieving after the death of an 8-year-old boy and a 38-year-old man who were killed by a speeding motorcycle as they stood along the Warren County Bikeway near Route 9 on Sunday.The motorcycle struck a group of six pedestrians on Sunday afternoon near the Lake George Expedition Park, killing James A. Persons and Quinton Delgadillo, both of Lake George.Delgadillo was a third grader at Lake George Elementary School, and he was described as “well-liked, super polite, and loved by all” by the school’s principal, James Conway.Conway added, “He was a good friend to all of his classmates.”Village of Lake George Mayor Robert Blais said a permanent memorial at the crash site is planned.“We’re going to craft something in the workshop to place at the site as a memorial. The village’s street foreman’s son was best friends with the 8-year-old victim,” Blais said Monday.

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“He (the foreman) said to me: ‘My son will be sitting in class today next to his friend’s empty desk,’” Blais said.Douglas Huntley, superintendent of schools in Lake George, wrote in a statement that counselors will be on hand for students and staff in need of support on Monday morning.

A baseball hat and flowers were placed at the site of Sunday’s crash involving a motorcycle and a group of pedestrians who were standing at the entrance to the Warren County Bikeway along state Route 9 in Lake George. Two of the pedestrians, a 38-year-old man and an 8-year-old boy, died. 

Drew Wardle

“I encourage parents and guardians to talk with your children about this tragedy. Discussing thoughts and feelings about this situation is important in helping your child work through her or his grief, shock, confusion and sadness,” the superintendent wrote.A preliminary investigation determined that the operator of the motorcycle, Anthony J. Futia, 33, of Albany, was heading north on Route 9 at a high rate of speed when his motorcycle went off the east shoulder of the road and onto a section of the Warren County Bikeway, striking pedestrians who were standing at the entrance to the bike path.Futia suffered life-threatening injuries and was in critical condition at Albany Medical Center on Sunday night, while a third pedestrian, Jasmine Luellen, 30, of Lake George, was transported to Albany Medical Center and was in stable condition Sunday night, police said. State police, who are heading the investigation, said as of Monday afternoon that “conditions remain the same at last check,” and that the investigation is ongoing.This tragedy came at the tail end of two multi-day motorcycle rallies in the area — the annual Americade motorcycle rally and the annual Warrensburg Bike Rally.Blais said he was not certain if the tragedy would have an effect on the bike events in the area.“We’re grateful to have Americade, but of course it is terrible when a tragedy like this happens at the end. If you’re not from around here, you assume that just because he was a motorcyclist, he had a connection to Americade. It’s a real tragedy to end one of our best weekends of the year like this,” he said.Christian Dutcher, vice president and organizer of Americade, said he is shocked and angry that such a tragedy happened.“Americade week ended on Saturday. Lake George is just about a ghost town the next day after the events ends,” Dutcher said, adding that most if not all the bikers leave town a day after the event.Dutcher said that the motorcyclist who struck the pedestrians was not a registered Americade participant.Warren County officials released a statement, saying “the county Department of Public Works will review safety measures in that area of the Warren County Bikeway as is done whenever there is a serious incident on county-owned infrastructure.”“The Warren County Board of Supervisors offers its deepest condolences to those involved in Sunday’s terrible tragedy in Lake George and their families. We thank our first responders and law enforcement agencies for their efforts to assist the victims at the scene,” the news release stated.“It is a tragedy and our hearts go out to the family,” Lake George Town Supervisor Dennis Dickinson said in a statement.Drew Wardle is a reporter for The Post-Star. You can contact him at 518-681-7343 or email him at dwardle@poststar.com.

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