April 12, 2013

Teen injured in snowmobile crash improving


---- — CLINTON — A Saranac teen who was seriously injured in a snowmobile accident March 16 is improving.

“She’s doing exceptionally well,” Anna M. Bentley’s mother, Becky Waldron, said.

Three people have been charged with misdemeanors and another with numerous violations connected with the accident.

Police originally reported that Bentley, 19, was driving the sled, but it was later determined that Richard Decosse Jr., 42, of Churubusco was the operator and that Bentley was a passenger.

Bentley, who was not wearing a helmet, suffered head trauma and facial lacerations, Chazy-based State Police said.

She was transferred from a local hospital to Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington after the accident.


The crash, which took place near a residence at 876 State Route 189 in the Town of Clinton, was reported at 11:54 p.m. March 16, according to a State Police blotter entry.

After it was found that Decosse had been driving, he told police the sled had been moving at about 40 mph when he lost control and it struck a tree, ejecting him and Bentley. The teen was thrown against the tree as well, police said.

He also told police he went to get help and later went home because he was not feeling well, authorities said.

Decosse was on probation at the time of the crash, police said, but for what reason wasn’t available.

He was charged with numerous State Department of Parks and Recreation violations, including imprudent speed on a snowmobile, illegal operation, reckless operation, operating on a highway, operating without insurance and equipment violations, police said.

Shannon M. Smith, 41, of Chateaugay; Leonard W. King, 45, of Churubusco; and his son Leonard J. King, 23, of Churubusco were all arrested in March and charged with second-degree obstructing governmental administration, a misdemeanor.

All three were at the residence when the accident occurred, police said, and the charges stem from their initial refusal to tell police who was driving the snowmobile.

Smith, King Jr. and King Sr. were arraigned in Clinton Town Court and were released on appearance tickets.

They are scheduled to reappear on May 7.

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