Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Aircraft crash on Lake Placid airport runway leaves two dead

forest ranger reportTown of North Elba
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Sept. 27 at 3:15 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch received a call about a hiker who fell near the junction of Wright and Algonquin peaks. Forest Rangers DuChene and Lewis hiked to the 65-year-old from Cropseyville, splinted his wrist, and helped him back to the trailhead. Lake Placid Ambulance took the hiker to the hospital at 6:52 p.m.

Ranger Lewis splinting broken wrist

Ranger Lewis splinting broken wrist. NYS DEC photo.

Town of Keene
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Sept. 28 at 11:19 a.m., Ray Brook Dispatch requested Forest Ranger assistance for a hiker experiencing a cardiac event on the Third Brother summit. New York State Police (NYSP) Aviation was called in to assist. Ranger Lewis lowered Ranger Mecus to the patient. Ranger Mecus attached a harness to the 29-year-old, and Ranger Lewis hoisted the hiker into the helicopter. NYSP flew the subject to the hospital. Resources were clear at 12:45 p.m.

Town of Bellmont
Franklin County
Law Enforcement:
 On Sept. 30, Forest Rangers conducted a safety patrol on a conservation easement in the town of Bellmont. Rangers issued 21 tickets for illegal ATV use. The ATVs rolled through seven towns and detoured through signs indicating ATV use was not permitted.

Bellmont safety patrol

Bellmont safety patrol. NYS DEC photo.

Town of Indian Lake
Hamilton County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Sept. 30 at 2:14 p.m., Forest Rangers Scott and Temple responded to a hiker with a leg injury near the summit of Blue Mountain. Personnel from Indian Lake, Blue Mountain, and Speculator fire departments helped Rangers set up a rope system to raise the subject to the summit. Rescuers drove the 58-year-old from Philadelphia, NY, to the road where she was flown to the hospital. Resources were clear by 3:30 p.m.

Town of Minerva
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Sept. 30 at 2:31 p.m., Forest Ranger Bode, Minerva Fire, and Johnsburg EMS responded to a report of a hiker experiencing dehydration, weakness, and vomiting on Moxham Mountain. Ranger Bode reached the 76-year-old from Lake George, rehydrated the hiker, and started walking them out. They reached the trailhead by 6:09 p.m.

Town of North Elba
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Sept. 30 at 5:40 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch received a call about a hiker with an unstable lower leg injury on the Algonquin trail. New York State Police (NYSP) Aviation was called in. Pilot Kneer and Ranger Praczkajlo inserted Ranger O’Connor to the subject. Ranger O’Connor stabilized the hiker’s injury and prepared the 33-year-old from Canada for a hoist. The patient was flown to the hospital at 7:14 p.m.

Ranger O'Connor with hoist subject

Ranger O’Connor with hoist subject. NYS DEC photo.

Village of Lake Placid
Essex County
Aircraft Crash:
 On Oct. 1 at 5:15 p.m., Forest Ranger Captain Burns and Ranger Praczkajlo assisted Lake Placid Fire Department with the extraction of two subjects from a single fixed-wing aircraft that crashed on the Lake Placid airport runway. The two subjects passed away in the crash. Crews used a low angle rope system to remove the subjects from the wreckage before turning them over to the coroner at 7:30 p.m.


Be sure to properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC’s Hike Smart NY, Adirondack Backcountry Information, and Catskill Backcountry Information webpages for more information.

If a person needs a Forest Ranger, whether it’s for a search and rescue, to report a wildfire, or to report illegal activity on state lands and easements, they should call 833-NYS-RANGERS. If a person needs urgent assistance, they can call 911. To contact a Forest Ranger for information about a specific location, the DEC website has phone numbers for every Ranger listed.



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Information attributed to NYSDEC is taken from press releases and news announcements from New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation.

One Response

  1. Boreas says:

    Sorry for the loss of life at LPM airport.

    Glad the ATV miscreants were apprehended and ticketed. A few bad apples…

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