PLATTSBURGH — Former Schroon official Ed Haroff died Friday from a head injury he suffered on Christmas Day when he slipped and fell on the ice.
“All he was doing was going out walking his dog around the holidays,” Jay Town Supervisor Randy Douglas said. “It shows you how quickly that can happen.
“It was very sad.”
That tragedy cemented the Jay supervisor’s concerns about icy sidewalks and driveways, an issue since a storm before the holidays.
That ice event was followed by another, and on Saturday morning, rain on frozen roadways sent numerous vehicles skidding.
Haroff was a retired state trooper.
As of Jan. 1, CVPH Medical Center in Plattsburgh had seen a 25 percent increase in ice-related injuries, according to Chris Blake of the Public Relations and Marketing Department.
“I can tell you it’s only gone up since,” she said.
Friday, concerned about weekend forecasts for rain that would increase the ice danger, Douglas declared a State of Emergency to allow citizens to acquire sand from the municipality to make their properties safer.
“Legally, the only way to do so is to have a State of Emergency declared,” Douglas said, noting that he reached the decision after discussions with the Town Council and the town attorney.
“If it saves one life, or if it saves anybody from an injury, that would be worth it.”
Douglas himself took a fall.
“I got home from the governor’s State of the State address (on Wednesday), and fell in my own driveway,” he said.
He suffered from cuts on his forehead and sprained wrist.
“My son was pulling in the driveway, and he was able to scoop me up — and my wife’s a registered nurse, so she took good care of me. I’m fine. I’m very fortunate.”