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Two men now dead in Thompson accident


June 26, 2013

On June 25, 2013, State Police at Liberty were informed that Brett Laabs, age 48 of Hawley, PA has succumbed to injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident that occurred on June 24, 2013 in the Town of Thompson.

Laabs was operating a 2010 Mack garbage truck owned by Waste Management of Pennsylvania, Inc that was involved in a collision with a tractor-trailer owned by Estes Express Lines of the Town of Wallkill. The operator of the Estes truck was pronounced deceased at the scene. An autopsy will be conducted on Laabs by the Westchester County Medical Examiner’s
Office to determine a cause of death.

When they investigated, troopers determined that an International tractor-trailer owned by Estes Express Lines and operated by James Eaton, age 57 of High Falls, NY was traveling northbound on ST-42 and drifted into the southbound lane of travel as it was negotiating a curve in the roadway.

A Mack garbage truck owned by Waste Management, Inc and operated by Laabs, was traveling southbound on ST-42 and was unable to avoid the tractor trailer. The two vehicles collided. Eaton was pronounced dead at the scene by the Sullivan County Coroner’s Office.

Laabs was transported by medevac helicopter to Westchester Medical Center where he is listed in critical condition.

The State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit as well as the State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit was on scene to assist with the investigation. The cause of the accident is still under investigation.

State Police were assisted at the scene by the Monticello Fire Department, the Rock Hill Fire Department, the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Department, Mobil Medic EMS, Hatzolah EMS and Lifenet NY.