Pedestrian killed after climbing under tractor trailer in New Paltz

The New Paltz Police Department is continuing to investigate a fatal vehicle/pedestrian accident that occurred on Main Street in the Village of New Paltz on September 10. The closure of Main Street in New Paltz for several hours yesterday was the result of a horrific tragedy: a pedestrian climbed underneath a tractor trailer that was stopped, became dislodged once the driver started moving and was dragged down the street for several blocks. The preliminary investigation by police resulted in no charges being filed against the driver of the truck.

The police had initially responded to the scene near the Carmine Liberta Bridge just before 4 p.m., where the victim was found deceased in the roadway.

Kevin Kelly, a local business owner, noted the police activity. “I saw them placing evidence markers in the intersection of Chestnut and Main. I walked to Water Street Market. A body was covered on the bridge on the right side closer to the east side.”


A bystander who spoke on condition of anonymity, in the vicinity of Clemson Bros. at the Gilded Otter, observed what appeared to be a body covered by a blanket near that location.

“I’m very sad to know that I’ll probably at least be somewhat acquainted with whoever it was, just because I walk the area so many times a day now,” said Kelly. “Someone is getting some very awful news at the moment.”

Witnesses also reported seeing the pedestrian dragged under a tractor trailer, which was later stopped by police on Libertyville Road in New Paltz. The vehicle operator was interviewed by officers, fully cooperated with the investigation and no charges were filed.

Main Street from North Front Street to Springtown Road was closed for five hours for the collection of evidence and reconstruction of the events and was not reopened until after 9 p.m.

The victim, identified on Tuesday as Geoffrey Paturel, 36, of Woodstock, was pronounced deceased at the scene. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the New Paltz Police Department detective division at 255-1357. All information will remain confidential.

The New Paltz Police Department was assisted by the New York State Police, uniform patrol, BCI and FIU Investigators and Commercial Enforcement Unit, the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office uniform patrol and detectives, the SUNY New Paltz Police Department, the Ulster County District Attorney’s Office, the New Paltz Fire Department, the New Paltz Rescue Squad and the Village of New Paltz DPW.

The investigation is continuing and anyone with information is encouraged to contact the New Paltz Police Department Detective Division at (845) 255-1357. All information will remain confidential.