Times Reports Fatal Limo Headed Here;
Perhaps Cooptoberfest Was Destination
By JIM KEVLIN & LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN – Cooperstown, and perhaps Brewery Ommegang, are being reported in the national media as the destination of the limousine that crashed Saturday afternoon in Schoharie County, killing the 18 passengers, plus two people standing nearby.
However, there are two other breweries in the Cooperstown area, and Eat Drink Cooperstown, the beer-tasting culmination of the fifth annual Cooptoberfest, was also underway that afternoon.
Ommegang team members today were trying to ascertain if that brewery was the destination, according to spokesman Allison Capozza, but by this evening had been unable to do so. The brewery had closed at 3 p.m. Saturday for a wedding, and the married couple, contacted today, were unable to confirm a connection, she said.
An alternative destination could have been Eat Drink Cooperstown, the beer tasting event that began at 4 p.m. Saturday in the Doubleday Field parking lot, the culmination of the fifth annual Cooptoberfest fun festival.
“The victims’ names have not been released, but when they are, we will be looking into whether they had tickets,” said Ryan West of Time Square Media, Oneonta, which organized the Eat Drink event in the Doubleday Field parking lot beginning at 4 Saturday afternoon.
Even if the victims did not have tickets, they would have been able to pay $45 at the door to attend the beer-tasting.
“They were being responsible,” said West, a reference to the victims, who were from the Capitol District, and hired the limousine that crashed in Schoharie County early Saturday afternoon. “And we’re heartbroken for this.”
Matt Hazzard, executive director of the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce, which organizes Coopertoberfest, said in a text he hadn’t heard anything. Officials at the other local breweries could not be reached this evening.
Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh, en route home from a weekend away, said she had not yet heard about the possible Cooperstown link. “Our hearts go out to all the families who have lost loved ones in this shocking and horrible accident,” she said.
The accident occurred at the intersection of state routes 30 and 30A in the Town of Schoharie, state police at Latham report.