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.
COOPERSTOWN – The former owner of the Cooperstown B&B, John Smirk, 75, was identified as the man who drowned in Otsego Lake last night after his vehicle ran off the dock at the bottom of Fair Street at 8:30 p.m., Cooperstown police said.
Two officers injured trying to rescue the driver were identified as Sheriff’s Deputy Anthony Grimes and Village Police Office Vincent Cavalieri. They were treated at Bassett Hospital and released, as was an unidentified medic.
Smirk and his wife Linda, who passed away in 2016, operated the Cooperstown B&B at 80 Chestnut St. for decades.