Two ambulances had been assigned to Sleepy Hollow's 10K race, where a 54-year-old Harrison man lay dying, attended only by frantic bystanders, a village trustee reported Tuesday.
Officials looking into the death of Steven M. Gates are still constructing the official timeline, Trustee Jennifer Lobato-Church told her fellow trustees.
Witnesses have charged that it took an inordinate length of time—some have put the figure as high as 20 minutes—before emergency medical personnel reached Gates.
Police Chief Gregory Camp puts the elapsed time at eight minutes, from dispatch to arrival on scene, Fremont Road in Sleepy Hollow Manor.
Lobato-Church, who chairs the village board’s public health and safety committee, said officials were still trying to determine “what exactly happened during the incident.” She thanked those who came to Gates’ aid but offered no new insights into the action of emergency responders.
Chief Camp on Wednesday afternoon released this statement:
For several weeks prior to the 10K running event held in Sleepy Hollow on October 20, 2012, a number of meetings were held with the race's organizers and the Village. Safety of the public is always a top priority when holding these events. On race day, a medical tent was placed at Morse School where the event started and finished. Two ambulances and a paramedic were in service. A second paramedic was also available if needed. Immediately, after we received the report regarding the fatality of one of the runners an investigation was started to gather all the facts. The Village Administration has requested a thorough investigation, followed by a complete report of my findings. We have gathered information from several sources, i.e.: Sleepy Hollow Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Phelps Memorial Hospital, 911 dispatchers, responding paramedics, and Village employees. Upon the completion of the report, it will be released to the public. Thank you for your patience.
Gates, 54, a music professional and amateur runner, collapsed about a half hour after the race’s 9:30 a.m. start Saturday. Bystanders and fellow runners, one of them a doctor, rushed to his aid. But Gates was pronounced dead at Phelps Memorial Hospital at 10:45 a.m.
He had operated his own music-management company from Harrison after stints as vice president for artists and repertoire—known more commonly as A&R and responsible for finding and nurturing musical talent—at BMG for RCA Victor and vice president and artist manager at Columbia Artists Management.