By Ted Waddell
KENOZA LAKE May 31, 2002 A motorcyclist was killed and his female passenger critically injured on Memorial Day when he apparently lost control of his Honda 600F4 high performance bike on a winding section of Route 52 overlooking the Callicoon Creek near Kenoza Lake.
According to authorities, both riders sustained massive internal injuries after Christopher Sugrim, 23, of North Branch crashed into a section of steel cables and guardrails on a piece of serpentine roadway known locally as The Snake Road (the section of Routes 17B, 52A and 52 between Callicoon and the outskirts of Jeffersonville).
Sugrim and other motorcyclists had reportedly just visited his mother in North Branch before the fatal accident.
Sugrim was transported to Catskill Regional Medical Center (CRMC) in Harris by the Upper Delaware Volunteer Ambulance Corps. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
Halai Habashzada of Flushing, Queens, the 25-year-old passenger, was transported to CRMC by the Jeffersonville Volunteer Ambulance Squad.
She was then airlifted by StatFlight to Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, where she was listed in critical condition. Habashzada underwent emergency surgery and is in the ICU. She is expected to recover.
According to authorities, they attempted to arrange for both victims to be airlifted by EMS helicopter from the accident scene, but the helicopters could not fly due to overcast weather.
The accident occurred around 10:45 a.m. near the Stone Arch Bridge.
A group of four bikes were traveling together. Seconds after Sugrim crashed into the guardrails, fellow motorcyclist Michael Budhu of Queens just ran up on it and saw the shattered bike laying partway under the cables and his friends lying bleeding on the pavement.
We came up here for a nice weekend, and then this happens, said Budhu.
As NYS Troopers and a BCI investigator examined the accident scene and interviewed witnesses, Sharmille Budhu stood forlornly by the edge of the road holding the bright yellow motorcycle helmets of her companions.
Small pools of blood on the pavement told the story of a Memorial Day motorcycle outing gone terribly wrong.
It was due to unsafe speed, said Trooper Dillon. It was a tragic accident.