THIS WAS THE scene just outside of Fosterdale on Wednesday afternoon when this Ford, driven by Floyd “Tyler” Wagner, 16, of Jeffersonville, drove into a ditch at high speed and overturned, killing Scott Krantz, 16, also of Jeffersonville. Both were students at Sullivan West High School and had just left the school. Wagner had gotten his license this past June and at press time was being treated at Catskill Regional Medical Center.
Crash Kills Sullivan West Student; Driver Still Hospitalized
By Jeanne Sager
KENOZA LAKE December 1, 2006 It’s happened again.
A teenage driver. A friend in the car.
A steep slope. A fast car.
An accident. A tragedy.
Floyd “Tyler” Wagner, 16, of Jeffersonville, got his license in June.
He got a green Mustang and permission to drive to and from school.
Wednesday afternoon, he left the Lake Huntington campus of Sullivan West Central School with cousin Scott Krantz, 16, also of Jeffersonville, in the passenger’s seat.
According to State Police Investigator Pete Scalia, Wagner followed a blue car full of teens around a slow-moving vehicle on the Route 17B decline better known to locals as “Geib’s Hill.”
He picked up speed as he continued down, although Scalia said the crime scene reenactment team has yet to crunch the numbers to determine just how fast he was going.
It was at the bottom of the hill where tragedy struck.
Wagner lost control Scalia said he’s not sure how or why.
Could be driver inexperience, speed or maybe he was trying to pass that blue car, Scalia said.
At the nearly 45 degree turn at the base of the hill, Wagner’s car exited the roadway.
Krantz, who wasn’t wearing his seatbelt, was ejected. His body landed atop the bank of a nearby creek.
The car flipped through the air, hitting a towering pine tree before flopping onto the creek bank and onto Krantz’s body.
Scalia said the Sullivan West junior had suffered serious head trauma.
A coroner later confirmed the popular kid one classmate called “funny as hell,” was dead.
Wagner, extricated from the car by emergency workers on the scene, was rushed to Catskill Regional Medical Center in Harris.
He’d been wearing his seatbelt, Scalia said, but he suffered a possible dislocated tailbone and fractured pelvis along with bruising.
State Police, the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Department, firefighters from a number of local departments as well as ambulance workers converged on the scene called out over the scanner as “rollover with entrapment.”
A Callicoon firefighter with boards and cement blocks in the back of his truck heard “entrapment,” and rushed to the scene - knowing it’s hard for any department to crew up on a Wednesday afternoon.
But he sadly packed his turnout gear away, turned his truck around and left the scene when he realized there was no helping.
State DOT workers closed off Geib’s hill at the top and bottom, helping State Police keep hysterical teenagers and their parents at bay.
Rumors were spreading fast and furious through a small community fueled by frantic cell phone calls from teens aboard three buses that had been headed down Geib’s hill just moments after the accident, busloads of children that passed right by the crumpled car lying atop Krantz’s lifeless body before emergency workers could carefully drape a sheet over his corpse.
The driver of the blue car, the first to pass the slow-moving car on the way down, sat in the middle of the road, waiting to be interviewed by the dozens of State Police roaming the scene.
Smoking a cigarette, he attempted to stay calm while girls cried around him.
He sat, knees in air, feet pulled in, before shifting. Elbows went on knees, then his legs were pushed out to lay flat on the ground then pulled back in.
The calm, cool collection practiced by teenagers was gone.
They weren’t invincible.
Just like the three other teens killed in Sullivan County since school opened in September.
Just like the Manor boy who died just two weeks ago after surviving the crash that killed his best friend, the driver speeding down a giant hill into Livingston Manor.
And Wagner, a sophomore who played football will continue to be the subject of a “pretty extensive investigation,” according to Scalia.
After the 2005 conviction of 17-year-old Brett Cabrera for the death of three teenage passengers in June 2004, Scalia said accidents of these types are carefully reviewed.
With a junior license, teens can only transport up to three passengers.
Wagner had just one, in this case a family member.
But Scalia said there are seven or eight subsections of the junior license that have to be looked into
"If charges come down the road," he said, "the district attorney's office will decide."