Hudson Valley Man Killed in ‘Horrifying’ New Paltz Mishap Honored
The Hudson Valley man killed in "the "absolutely horrifying" fatal accident near a number of popular local New Paltz restaurants and bars is being fondly remembered.
Geoffrey Paturel, 36, of Woodstock was killed last Thursday around 4 p.m. on Main Street in New Paltz. Witnesses reported seeing a man being dragged down Main Street under a tractor-trailer that continued west on Route 299, police say. The vehicle was located and stopped on Libertyville Road in the area of 299 in the Town of New Paltz.
"We will all miss 'Jesus' Geoffrey," Kristy Larson wrote in the Facebook group Remembering Geoffrey Paturel. "Hard to believe he's gone. He had a good heart & would show up & surprise you...the way only Geoffrey could."
A witness told Hudson Valley Post, it started near Heady Teddy's Outfitters on Main Street and the person was dragged to near the bridge that goes over the Wallkill River at the bottom of Main Street.
"I witnessed this and I couldn’t believe it was real. This was absolutely horrifying. Prayers to everyone involved," Georgina Nicole wrote in the comment sections of the New Paltz Police Department's Facebook post about the fatal accident. "I was sitting at the stoplight by Lola’s heading up Main St. I saw the truck and I legitimately thought what I was seeing was not real. I thought it was a sick joke, because I saw a man on the side of the road with a bewildered look on his face too. Then I heard cars beeping after the truck and saw a police car, so I feared the worst was true. Absolutely tragic."
Police believe for an unknown reason Paturel climbed under the trailer when it was stopped in traffic. The driver had no idea and continued driving down Main Street when the person became dislodged, caught under the vehicle and dragged down the street, police say.
"Geoff was an awesome guy. Always on the right side of history. When he sang Salvation Song it was like he summoned the ghost Bob Marley. And he probably did. Woodstock lost a prophet. An Artist with works that’ll probably be discovered years later after the earth burns down and he’ll be embraced," Dale Hansen said.
The unnamed driver was interviewed by officers and fully cooperated with the investigation, according to the New Paltz Police Department. The investigation shows no fault with the vehicle operator and there are no charges to be filed, police say. It still remains unclear why or how the Woodstock man ended up under the trailer.
"Love you brother... always... will take your example into my life from here on out.. you were a rock for so many, sorry to see you pass so young... your life meant so much to me and to so many others...," Philip Hardwick wrote.