A 36-year-old Long Island man died instantly after he crashed an ATV into a creek in the Delaware County town of Tompkins on Sunday night, May 24, police say.
Keith J. Stratton of Bellmore, New York had been at a family party on Apex Road that evening, the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, according to a press release from the New York State Police.
Stratton was not wearing a helmet when he "decided to take a ride" on an all-terrain vehicle, the press release states.
While driving, Stratton failed to make a right turn and overturned the ATV into a shallow nearby creek, where he was killed on impact, police say.
Stratton was found dead in the creek around 9:34 p.m. by police. He was pronounced deceased by Delaware County Deputy Medical Examiner James Cooros at the scene, according to the press release.
While the State Police press release stated that "alcohol was a factor in the crash," people close to Stratton insist that he had not been drinking before he got on the ATV.
"It's false information," said Patricia, a friend of Stratton's who spoke with the Watershed Post. "That's the last thing that he would do. I know for a fact that he wasn't drinking. It was a tragic accident."
Patricia, who declined to give her last name, said that the results of a toxicology report had not been released to the family, so there was no way of knowing for sure whether Stratton had been drinking that evening.
Correction: The crash occurred in the Delaware County town of Tompkins, not in Deposit, as this story's headline previously stated.