KEESEVILLE — Police say speed was a factor in two recent fatal accidents.
Colby Edward Baker died in a one-car rollover Monday afternoon, and Douglas DuBrey lost his life in a motorcycle accident Saturday.
State Police said Baker, 21, of Keeseville, was driving at an unsafe speed Monday around 4 p.m. when his vehicle left the road and rolled into a self-storage building at the intersection of Port Douglas and Prospect roads.
A witness told State Police that a vehicle described as very similar to Baker's red car had turned from Spring Street onto Clinton Street — which becomes Port Douglas Road — and in the process tore up someone's lawn.
But before that call could even be dispatched, the accident occurred just down the road, police said.
Postmortem results for Baker released Tuesday by Dr. Deonarayan Saha at CVPH Medical Center showed the official cause of death to be blunt force head trauma.
Baker was a goal oriented person who really pushed himself to do well, said Matt Rogers, director of school counseling at AuSable Valley High School.
"He worked his tail off because he wanted to go to CV-TEC."
After graduating from the High School's new Horizon program in 2010, in just three years, Baker reached his goal of attending CV-TEC's carpentry program.
"(He was) a hard worker," Rogers said. "(He was) just one of those solid, stand-up young men, just one of those kids that are the backbone of any school."
Rogers said the older students at the High School were mourning Baker on Tuesday.
"They're grieving the loss of a friend for sure."
Baker was someone everyone knew, Rogers remembered. "A great kid."
Along with speed, unsafe passing was a main factor in the motorcycle crash that killed DuBrey, 54, on Route 3 in Saranac on Saturday afternoon, according to State Police.
Authorities said DuBrey was on his way home at about 4 p.m. when he passed two cars in a no-passing zone, then lost control as he attempted to maneuver a curve.
Witnesses told police that DuBrey was traveling at an elevated rate of speed.
He was later pronounced dead at CVPH Medical Center in Plattsburgh.
Police also said DuBrey was wearing a "novelty" helmet at the time of the crash, which may have contributed to his injuries.
They said the helmet was clearly marked as unauthorized headgear and urged riders to be aware that the popular helmets do not meet require safety standards and do not provide sufficient protection.
Current New York state law requires both motorcycle drivers and passengers wear helmets, along with protective eyewear, according to the New York State Department of Transportation.
HARDWORKING FAMILY MAN
DuBrey's friends offered condolences and remembered him online as an adventurer who loved his family, farm and motorcycles.
Barbara Ross of Dannemora said she met DuBrey while they were both recuperating in the hospital in March 2010.
She said she was very fortunate she got to know him, and she will never forget spending time with "such an incredible, honest, hardworking individual."
Ross admired how much the retired correction officer loved his wife Sonya, his five children and especially his five grandchildren.
"His family was his life," Ross said. "He loved them so much."
Ross said DuBrey saw everyone as an equal and "always treated people as he wanted to be treated."
DuBrey grew up in Saranac, where he graduated from Saranac Central School in 1975. He was retired from Lyon Mountain Correctional Facility.