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Police & Fire

Two Charged In Death Of 15-Year-Old Who Fell From Side Of SUV

A Wappinger teen was killed after falling from the side of a vehicle.
A Wappinger teen was killed after falling from the side of a vehicle. Photo Credit: Google Maps Street View

Two area teens were arrested following the death of a 15-year-old who was hanging onto the outside of the vehicle they were driving before he fell to his death.

The 16- and 17-year-olds from Dutchess County have been charged with manslaughter in the death of Wilson Santiago of Wappinger around 4:10 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12, said New York State Trooper AJ Hicks.

The incident unfolded when a state police patrol was traveling southeast on Clove Branch Road near Henry Drive in Hopewell Junction when Santiago was observed clinging to the passenger side of an SUV traveling in the opposite direction, Hicks said.

The state police patrol turned around to catch up to the SUV and came upon the teenager in the roadway. The patrol stopped to render aid as the SUV fled the scene. Santiago died at the scene.

The two occupants of the SUV were apprehended later Wednesday evening, he said.

Clove Branch Road was closed from the time of the accident until about 8 p.m. The road was again closed this morning at 7:30 a.m. for additional photographing, and to conduct a daylight search for additional evidence.

“New York State Police and the town of East Fishkill Police quickly joined forces to unravel the sequence of events that led to Wilson’s death. As a police officer, you never get used to seeing such a tragedy. It’s just heartbreaking,” said State Police Captain John Ryan.

The 17-year-old juvenile was arraigned before the town of East Fishkill Court before the Honorable Brian Rudner, Town Justice, and subsequently remanded to the Dutchess County Jail in lieu of $200,000 cash bail or $400,000 bond. He is due to reappear Dec. 18, at 5 p.m. at the town of East Fishkill Court.

The 16-year-old is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday.

The New York State Police were also assisted by the Dutchess County District Attorney’s Office. Also on scene were the Town of East Fishkill Fire and EMS. 

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