The mayor opened Tuesday’s regular trustees meeting by asking those in attendance to remain standing after the pledge of allegiance, noting the deaths of five residents since the last meeting and the particular horrors visited on a single neighborhood in a single day.
“Our thoughts are with their families and friends,” Wray said.
Catherine V. Kadnar of 207 Gordon Ave., a village resident for all of her 37 years, died Saturday in a puzzling Tappan Avenue auto accident. Authorities were still trying to unravel details, but by midweek, Police Chief Greg Camp said Tuesday, neither his department nor the county accident investigation unit could say why Kadnar was lying in the road, outside her Honda SUV, which had crashed into an embankment on Tappan Avenue.
Her husband, Steven Zaicek, died in November 2009, the apparent victim of a boating accident on Greenwood Lake in Orange County. The couple had a son, now 6.
In the second police case, Theresa Howson was taken to Phelps Memorial Hospital after the police found her unconscious and in apparent cardiac arrest early Saturday in her home, 127 New Broadway. She died Wednesday. Her husband, Christopher, 49, was originally held in the County Jail, accused of second-degree attempted murder and third-degree strangulation, but he could now face a far stiffer charge when he returns to village court next Monday. The couple’s daughters are 5 and 8.
The two horrific events, their impact multiplied by their proximity in time and space, also took a toll on those who serve.
Responding to the scene of Saturday’s auto accident, Firefighter Richie Green, who also lives in the neighborhood on New Broadway, complained of chest pain and was taken to Phelps, Fire Chief William Ryan said. Green remained hospitalized Wednesday afternoon.
For others, the episodes may have left psychic scars. “Some of our first-responders were very shaken up,” Camp told the trustees. The police chief said counseling services will be offered tonight at 7:30 at the ambulance corps building. While the counseling was meant specifically for first-responders, Camp said, in response to a question, “I’m sure they wouldn’t turn anyone away.”
Another neighborhood resident, Trustee Jennifer Lobato-Church, tried to thank the emergency workers. But her voice, choked with evident emotion, did not permit it and Wray finished the salute for her.
“This is why I’ll never be mayor,” she later smiled. “I can’t make a speech.”