A Peekskill police officer was one of two people who died Sunday night after he crashed his Jeep Wrangler into an Audi on Route 17 in the Village of Goshen.
Julian Hermosillo, 29, of Chester, was declared dead at the scene after he was injured on Route 17, near Route 122A in Orange County, according to state police. Giuseppa Avanzato, 90, Oneonta, Otsego, died later in Orange Regional Medical Center from internal injuries she suffered while riding in a rear passenger seat of the Audi.
The accident happened at about 8:41 p.m. when Hermosillo, who was off-duty at the time, was travelling east in a 1994 Jeep Wrangler when he lost control of his vehicle and crossed over the guiderail into the westbound lane.
Hermosillo then collided with a 2011 Audi driven by Vincenzo Avanzato, 57, of Oneonta. Avanzato and his family were heading home from Connecticut, according to state troopers.
Vincenzo Avanzato is currently recovering from his injuries at the critical care unit of the Orange County Medical Center. Two other passengers in the Audi, Ruth Avanzato, 56, and Marco Lelli, 19, were treated at the hospital and released.
Peekskill police Sgt. Raymond Henderlong said troopers stopped by the police headquarters Sunday night to inform the department of Hermosillo’s death.
“The troopers were extremely respectful and they deserved to be praised for doing that for us,” Henderlong said.
Hermosillo transferred from the Wallkill police department more than two years ago. He was recognized earlier this year for performing CPR on a man and saving his life.
“He was an extremely nice guy and he always had a smile on his face,” Henderlong said of Hermosillo. “He was very well respected. Not only in this department, but outside as well.”
Henderlong said that Hermosillo’s family resided in California and funeral arrangements are still being worked out.
Henderlong said the department lost another officer in 1997 when Michael Neuner, who also volunteered as a firefighter in Brewster, died while fighting a fire.
"We’re a small department and we’re like a family,” Henderlong said. ‘Unfortunately, some of the things we deal with are hard to think about all of the time, but we also have to look at some of the good things that we’ve done to save lives. We have to remember the good and know that we have helped bring joy to people’s lives.”