Woman killed in Spruce Hill crash

KEENE - One Elizabethtown woman is dead and another injured after two vehicles collided on Spruce Hill April 16.

The crash, which police responded to at about 6:20 a.m., claimed the life of Ann S. Kennedy, 66, of Elizabethtown.

According to Police, Kennedy was a passenger in a 2009 Toyota Corolla driven by Haliza E. Rifenberg, 38, also of Elizabethtown. The vehicle was travelling southbound on State Rte 9N near Hurricane Road in the town of Keene when Rifenberg lost control and crossed into the northbound late.

A 2005 Toyota Sienna minivan, driven by Walter Linck, 52, of Saranac Lake, collided with the passenger side of Rifenberg's vehicle. Linck was travelling up the hill with his wife, Vanessa Houghtlin and three children, Eledoie, 9; Sylvie, 6; and Daven, 2.

Ambulance crews from Keene, Keene Valley, Lake Placid, AuSable Forks and Elizabethtown-Lewis all responded to the accident.

The road remained closed for more than four hours as crash victims were extricated and vehicles hauled away.

Essex County Coroner Paul Connery pronounced Kennedy deceased at the scene. Rifenberg was airlifted to Fletcher Allen Heath Care Center in Burlington, Vt. for treatment of head injuries sustained in the accident.

Members of the Linck family were transported to Elizabethtown Community Hospital for treatment of minor injuries and later released, police said.

Dr. C. Francis Varga, conducted an autopsy on the body of Kennedy, determining the cause of death to be multiple traumatic injuries due to an automobile accident. Essex County Coroner Paul Connery ruled the death accidental.

Police say the accident remains under investigation by the Bureau of Criminal Investigation in Ray Brook.

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