It was a somber day in Dutchess County as a community says their finals goodbyes to one of their own. It’s the funeral for the second victim in last week's fatal car accident in Pine Plains While the horrifying crash remains under investigation. YNN’s Alexandra Weishaupt has the latest developments from officials.
PINE PLAINS, N.Y. -- “It’s a very sad case, sad case when you lose two teenagers like this, two young people,” said Capt. John Watterson of the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office. “It’s tragic.”
The dark gloomy day matched the emotions of those entering Peck and Peck Funeral Home Tuesday morning. There, many gathered to pay their final respect to 16-year-old Zachary Pruner who was ejected from his friend’s car late Thursday afternoon and killed on his way to football practice.
“Speed and reckless driving are factors, absolutely,” said Watterson. “It appears they came over that hill at an excessive speed, lost control and the car rolled and struck some trees there.”
Also killed at the scene was 17-year-old Gian Paolo Stagnaro. The 16-year-old driver, Dustin Hale, remains in critical condition at Albany Medical Center while the third passenger, 16-year-old Niall Johnson, was treated for non-life threatening injuries.
Officials said Hale is a junior driving, meaning he was only supposed to have one other person in his car with him. They said drug use is also being looked into, but when asked what kind of penalty’s Hale could be facing, Captain Watterson added it was too premature to tell.
“Certain tests have to be done and have to come back and there has to be a certain amount of leg work that has to be done before we determine that for sure,” said Watterson. “But that’s under investigation and its continuing.
In the meantime, the community displayed an outpouring of love and support and for their teammates, friends and family members.
“Our hearts go out to the family and friends of these young boys. It’s such a shame,” said Watterson.
Stagnaro's funeral was held on Monday, in addition to Pruner's calling hours. Members of the Pine Plains High School football team wore their jerseys to Pruner's calling hours in his honor.
Both families are requesting that donations be made in lieu of flowers.
For Gian Paolo Stagnaro
Gian Stagnaro FFA Scholarship Fund
c/o District Treasurer
Pine Plains Central School
2829 Church Street
Pine Plains, NY 12567
For Zachary Pruner
Donations can be sent in his name to Peck and Peck Funeral Homes