After a fatal car accident, an Ulster County 19-year-old is faced not only with the loss of her mother and grandfather but with the unexpected financial burden of two funerals.
Ira Ringel of Saugerties, 59, and his adopted daughter 47-year-old Samantha Kiernan were reportedly driving north on State Route 32 in the Saxton Flatts area of Saugerties. At approximately 4:53 p.m., their 2001 Toyota Camry slid into a 2011 Toyota Sienna driving the opposite direction in the southbound lane, according to Saugerties Police Chief Sinagra.
Kiernan was pronounced dead at the scene, police said, and was extricated from the vehicle by members of the Saxton Fire Department. Ringel was reportedly transported to Westchester Medical Health Alliance Hospital's Broadway Campus in Kingston, where he succumbed to his injuries.
The driver of the other vehicle, a 46-year-old from Saugerties, and her 13-year-old son were also brought to the hospital by Diaz Ambulance for treatment of minor injuries.
"My mother and her father got into an accident yesterday afternoon and passed away," wrote Halle Kiernan on a GoFundMe initiative to raise money after the accident on Thursday, Dec. 17. "I wish there was more I could say and do for them, so many words and hugs I’d like to give.
"The best I can do for them is give them a good funeral, I’m not someone who has money like this nor did I ever think I would have to feel this kind of pain.
"My mom and grandpa would put anything and everyone below me and drop everything for me. My mom was my biggest fan I’ve never felt so much love from someone besides her."
Police are still investigating the cause of the accident. Anyone who witnessed the crash is asked to contact the Saugerties Police Department at 845-246-9800.
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