News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.


Fair Street boat ramp

B&B Owner Drowns As Car Runs Into Lake

B&B Owner Drowns

As Car Runs Into Lake

2 Officers Injured In Rescue Attempt

Police cruisers, fire trucks and an ambulance hurried to Cooperstown’s Fair Street boat ramp Sunday, April 14, after a report a car had ended up in Otsego Lake. Despite rescue effort, the driver drowned. (Jim Kevln/

By LIBBY CUDMORE • The Freeman’s Journal & Hometown Oneonta

COOPERSTOWN – It’s rare, but not unheard of, for a car to end up in a body of water, said Sheriff Richard J. Devlin Jr. after last week’s fatal submersion off the boat ramp into Otsego Lake at the end of Fair Street.

“Before I was sheriff, someone drove into the Susquehanna River,” he said. “They were unfamiliar with the area and drove down what they thought was a road, but was the boat launch.”

Police are still investigating of how John Smirk’s car ended up submerged in Otsego Lake. “For unknown reasons, he drove into the lake,” said Village Patrolman Vincent Cavalieri.

Posts navigation

21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103