Garrison Man Dies After Crash (Updated)

Joseph Mercurio (Photo by Dmitri Kasterine)

Joseph Mercurio, 72, fatally injured

By Chip Rowe

A Garrison resident was fatally injured on Wednesday (Sept. 18) in a crash on Route 9 at Snake Hill Road.

The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office identified the victim as Joseph C. Mercurio, 72.

It said deputies were dispatched to the intersection at 10:37 a.m. According to the Sheriff’s Office, Mercurio, who was driving a Jeep, was apparently making a left turn from Snake Hill onto northbound Route 9 when a dump truck traveling south on Route 9 struck his vehicle on the front driver’s side and overturned, taking down nearby power lines.

When deputies arrived, live wires were lying on both vehicles. After Central Hudson cut off the power,  Mercurio, whom officers said was responsive and talking, was transported via helicopter to Westchester Medical Center, where he died from his injuries.

Mercurio was a longtime political consultant, a volunteer firefighter for the Garrison Volunteer Fire Co., a former commissioner of the Garrison Fire District and a book dealer who ran Mercurio Farms with his wife, Jennifer. On his LinkedIn profile, Mercurio said that, during his 45 years as a consultant, he provided polling, media buying and strategic communication services for more than 600 campaigns, propositions and other ballot initiatives. (Mercurio’s Facebook and Twitter handles were @Natpol.)

“He was the love of my life and the beloved father of our daughter, Eleanor,” Jennifer Mercurio wrote on Facebook.

The Garrison School said in an email to parents that the parent of a student had died and that the school psychologist and counselor would be available for support.

About 1,000 homes lost power because of the downed lines, and Route 9 was closed for most of the day.

Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 23, at the Clinton Funeral Home, 21 Parrott St., in Cold Spring, followed by a funeral service at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the funeral home and interment at Cold Spring Cemetery. An obituary is posted here.

8 thoughts on “Garrison Man Dies After Crash (Updated)

  1. The intersection where Mr. Mercurio died has a long record of accidents. It is extremely dangerous due to poor road design. Route 9 narrows from two passing lanes both north and south with little shoulder where Snake Hill Road and Travis Corners Road intersect at an oblique angle. The passing lanes encourage drivers to accelerate from both directions just as they approach the intersection where cars are invariably not perpendicular to Route 9 and so have difficulty seeing clearly in both directions. This intersection desperately needs a caution light and perhaps a lower speed limit. It is a travesty that nothing has been done.

  2. I find the sourcing of this article to a devastated family member’s post on her personal Facebook page invasive, insensitive and unprofessional. It is lazy journalism. LoHud had the decency and ethical standard to contact the Sheriff’s department.

    • I have read the story three times and it gets more offensive with each reading. In a paper that has otherwise been on a real upswing, this is unprofessional “journalism,” particularly in such a small community. I’m disappointed. [via Facebook]

    • This story is absolutely insensitive to the family, but journalism doesn’t seem concerned with sensitivity. We have a job here to protect each other and lift each other up in moments of tremendous challenge. They should have reached out to her [the victim’s wife] first. [via Facebook]

    • For a small local news outlet to engage in one-upsmanship [by naming the victim] before an agency [the Sheriff’s Office] has officially released the information is insensitive. In this day and age with social media, access to information sometimes can be easy to find and repeat, but it’s also important to look at the overall picture. There’s a child involved here. As a small community we need to look out for one another, not engage in sensationalism.

      Is it a news item? Perhaps, but it’s more of an issue of rising to the occasion to support someone when they are at one of the most challenging times of her or his life, not looking for a scoop. [via Facebook]

    • It looks as if most of the story comes from information and comments posted by family to social media.

    • Nothing we reported was taken from a private Facebook post. The Sheriff’s Office did not respond before our print deadline to a request for information. When it did, the story was updated online.

      Chip Rowe
      Managing Editor

  3. I think this (entire) intersection needs a four-way traffic light. It can be green north to south most of the time until a vehicle coming from the east or from the west triggers a switch. It is well known how increasingly heavy the north and southbound traffic on routes 9 and 9D are now, including trucks.