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Woman killed in Hudson River rafting accident

Guide believed to be intoxicated

A guide from the Hudson River Rafting Company takes clients down the Hudson River in North River May 5, 2012 during the White Water Derby.

A guide from the Hudson River Rafting Company takes clients down the Hudson River in North River May 5, 2012 during the White Water Derby. Photo by Andy Flynn.

— On Sept. 27, at approximately noon, New York State Police from Indian Lake and Ray Brook responded to Chain Lakes Road in the town of Indian Lake for a report of a missing rafter. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation personnel, as well as members of the Hamilton County Sheriffs Department, Indian Lake rescue squad, and Indian Lake Fire Department also responded to assist in the investigation.

Investigation revealed that Rory F. Fay, age 37, of North Creek, New York, was operating a raft on the Indian River as a New York State licensed guide, employed by the Hudson River Rafting Company. Fay had two passengers in the raft with him who were identified as Richard J. Clar, age 53, and Tamara F. Blake, age 53, both of Colombus, Ohio. At approximately 10:20 a.m., and while on the Indian River, Fay and Blake were ejected from the raft in whitewater conditions. Clar was able to stay within the raft and eventually steer it to the shoreline. Fay was able to swim to the shoreline. Clar and Fay walked to Chain Lakes Road where they were able to obtain assistance. Blake was unable to be located and authorities were notified. New York State Police Aviation was utilized to search the river and Blake’s body was discovered approximately five miles down stream in the Hudson River. Essex County Coroner Walter Marvin Jr. authorized transport of Blake's body by State Police and NYS DEC personnel to Chain Lakes Road. Marvin transported the body to the Adirondack Medical Center Morgue in Saranac Lake, New York, for an autopsy scheduled to be conducted on September 28th, 2012.

State Police determined that Rory Fay was intoxicated while transporting Clar and Blake on the rafting trip. State Police consulted with Hamilton County District Attorney Marsha Purdue and Fay was arrested for Criminally Negligent Homicide regarding the death of Blake. Fay was subsequently arraigned before Indian Lake Town Justice Judy Durken and remanded to the Hamilton County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail or $100,000 bond.

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