A Hudson Valley family already grappling with their 6-year-old daughter’s cancer diagnosis has been jolted by a new tragedy.
Dutchess County resident Michael Manetta, age 54, was killed in a motorcycle crash in Columbia County on Sunday, July 31, New York State Police said.
A preliminary investigation found that Manetta, of Red Hook, was riding his motorcycle on Route 7A in the town of Copake shortly before 11 a.m. when a driver cut him off while making a left turn.
Manetta’s bike struck the back of the car, causing him to be ejected, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
It’s unclear if the driver will face charges as New York State Police are still investigating the crash.
Manetta’s death is the second time his family has been rocked by tragedy in just the past year.
In October 2021, his 6-year-old granddaughter, Amelia, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer, according to a GoFundMe campaign organized by Susan McNeil.
Since then, the “beautiful, smart and tough little girl” has undergone multiple rounds of chemotherapy and numerous doctor visits, McNeil said.
A surgery in January 2022 brought more devastation.
“Due to the damage the tumor did to the bone, it was in Amelia’s best interest to amputate the arm,” McNeil wrote in an update posted in February.
“Please continue to keep Amelia and her family in your prayers and helping with your generous support,” she said. “Amelia still has a very long road."
Manetta posted several pictures of he and his granddaughter together on his Facebook page, where he also shared posts announcing fundraisers for the girl.
In one of the photos, they're seen sitting atop Manetta's motorcycle as Amelia dons a big smile and sunglasses.
"Look how happy you are making your granddaughter," one commenter wrote.
In July 2022 Amelia and her parents, Michael and Casie Manetta, were photographed at Sawyer Motors in Saugerties where they received a check for nearly $56,000 to help the family cover medical expenses.
"Sawyer Motors is grateful to everyone who pitched in to help our neighbors in need!" the company wrote on Facebook.
They tagged the post with the hashtag, "Saugerties Strong."
Funeral plans for Michael Manetta had not been made public as of Monday, Aug. 1.
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