Guilderland man takes first steps after December car crash

Updated: 03/19/2014 10:47 PM
Created: 03/19/2014 11:28 AM

By: Jessica Layton

SCHENECTADY – With his wife and physical therapist by his side, Capt. Timothy Neild is taking the first steps he’s taken since an accident that almost took his life. It marks a major milestone in a recovery that’s been a work in progress every day for more than three months.

“During December I did wake up. But in January I was thankful to be alive,” Neild said while getting therapy at Capital Living Rehabilitation in Schenectady.

On Dec. 9, the member of the 27th Infantry was on his way from the Capital Region to Syracuse for National Guard training. His wife Beth recalls being worried the night before.

“I just had a bad feeling. And once I got the call in my classroom I instantly knew something was wrong,” she said.

They can only assume Neild hit a patch of black ice while driving his pickup truck west on the Thruway. 

A few hours later that day, someone from the hospital in Syracuse did call to say Neild was stable. But stable meant a crushed left foot, a nearly amputated right foot, broken ribs, a broken back, a punctured lung, a head injury and bad burns.

When Neild’s truck crashed in the median near Exit 35, it burst into flames. Several passing motorists rushed to help — including Sgt. Ray Pressley, who’d been driving a truck for a furniture company.

“I remember asking is he going to make it? If he’s going to live. And they couldn’t give me the answer right then,” Beth recalled.

“He always carries a knife in his pocket. His knife cut my seat belt and got me out. And when he opened the door he said oh my gosh, that’s my captain,” the couple said.

In a remarkable twist, the two know each other. Neild is Pressley’s platoon sergeant.

Neild gets emotional talking about being rescued. Thursday at the state Capitol, Neild gets to thank his hero for saving his life. He, along with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, will present Pressley with the state’s Medal of Valor.

“Oh it’s incredible. I’m really looking forward to it. It’s just such a miracle I’m here,” Neild said.

After the crash, Neild spent a month at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, followed by another month at Sunnyview Rehabilitation until moving to Capital Living at the beginning of February. He’ll be going home to his family in a brand new house the couple was building in Guilderland later this week.

He’s still learning to get back the full use of his hand. The care for his burned right arm is intense. But with all the love he’s gotten from his wife, their 3-year-old Cate and his fans at Capital Living, he’s getting stronger everyday.

“The amount I’ve improved is incredible. Sometimes I have to be reminded of that,” he said.

Every step he takes is a reminder. 

One dead in Montgomery County crash

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Schenectady woman dead, two injured in car accident

— One Schenectady woman is dead and two more injured after a single car accident on the Thruway Saturday night.

At 8:30 p.m. troopers responded to a report of a vehicle off the road at Thruway mile marker 185 in the town of Glen. At the scene they found a 2005 Ford Expedition off the road, overturned in a grove of small trees.

All three occupants were taken to St. Mary’s Hospital where front seat passenger, Linda Brandow, 64, of Schenectady, was pronounced dead.

Driver Deborah Ottley, 54 and another unnamed Schenectady woman received care for non-life threatening injuries.

According to information released by the state police, no charges have yet been filed and the incident is still under investigation

Schenectady woman killed in car crash

GLEN — A Schenectady woman was killed in a car accident on the state Thruway Saturday night.

State Police said that a 2005 Ford Expedition driven by Deborah Ottley, 54, of Schenectady went off the Thruway at mile marker 185 in Montgomery County. The crash happened at around 8:30 p.m. Saturday.

The vehicle went into some small trees and overturned. Linda D. Brandow, 64, the front seat passenger, was pronounced dead at St. Mary’s Hospital in Amsterdam.

Ottley and a 54-year-old woman, who was sitting in the back of the car, were taken to St. Mary’s with non-life threatening injuries.

The State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit and Bureau of Criminal Investigation are still investigating the cause of the accident.

Driver charged after Glenville chase, crash

GLENVILLE — A Schenectady man suspected of car theft was arrested after a chase and crash on Route 50 before dawn Saturday.

Police said at about 5:30 a.m. a town resident saw Jesse Montgomery Jr., 38, of Willow Avenue, in his driveway and called 911 and police when Montgomery ran to a car on the street and drove off in it headed to Route 50.

Officer Michael Tomaso saw a car matching the description weaving on the highway heading south. Tomaso tried to pull the car over, but Montgomery sped off, eventually losing control of the car, which flipped several times. A woman in the car was hospitalized with minor injuries in the accident. Montgomery was arrested after a brief foot chase, police said.

Montgomery is charged with felony reckless endangerment, aggravated unlicensed operation, speeding, failure to comply with police, reckless driving, failure to keep right, and unlawful fleeing police, detectives said. He was also charged with resisting arrest, criminal possession of a stolen vehicle and criminal possession of stolen property, police said. It was later learned the car had been stolen in the town of Colonie, detectives said.

He was arraigned and sent to the Schenectady County jail without bail to appear in Glenville Town Court on Tuesday.

Man accused of fleeing from police and crashing a stolen vehicle

GLENVILLE, N.Y. – Glenville Police say they have arrested a Schenectady man after a short pursuit, which ended in a one car accident.

According to authorities, a resident saw Jesse Montgomery Jr., 38, in his driveway near his parked vehicle. The resident called police to report Montgomery left with a blue Acura towards Route 50.

A Glenville Police Officer spotted the Acura, being driven by Montgomery. He said the suspect was failing to keep right and weaving on the highway southbound on Route 50.

The officer attempted to pull Montgomery over; however, police say the man fled in the vehicle. Police say he was driving at a high speed, lost control of the vehicle, and rolled the vehicle a number of times.

Montgomery was arrested on the scene following a brief foot chase, according to police.

The female passenger suffered from minor injuries and was taken to Ellis Medicine for treatment.

Glenville Police say they found the Acura had been stolen from the Town of Colonie.

Montgomery was charged with one count of reckless endangerment in the 1st, a felony. He was also charged with several vehicle and traffic violations including, aggravated unlicensed operation in the 3rd, speeding, failure to comply with police, reckless driving, failing to keep right, and unlawful fleeing police in the 3rd. Montgomery was also charged with resisting arrest, Felony criminal possession of a stolen vehicle and criminal possession of stolen property.

He was arraigned and sent to Schenectady County lock up with no bail. He will be back in town court on Tuesday.

Car drives into Schenectady house

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Updated: Tuesday, January 21 2014, 02:21 PM EST
SCHENECTADY — It was a tough start to the morning for a driver and the owner of a house he ran into in Schenectady.

The car crashed into the front porch of a home on Turner Avenue at about 8 a.m. on Tuesday. The homeowner, Jeff LeClair, was not injured, and said he did not really know what happened until he got a call from one of his neighbors.

“I was upstairs and I heard the rattle going on and I just thought a snow plow or something was going on,” says LeClair. “About 5 minutes later, my neighbor said, ‘Jeff, I think you better come downstairs; there is a car in your house.” He says he is unsure how stable the house is and may have to stay with one of his neighbors while it is inspected.

No information was available on the condition of the driver of the car involved in the accident.Car drives into Schenectady house

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Schenectady man charged in fatal Queens crash

QUEENS — A Schenectady man has been charged in a fatal hit-and-run crash that killed a woman in Queens Friday night, New York Police said.

Vishwanand Subryan, 23, was charged with vehicular manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, leaving the scene of an accident and driving while intoxicated, police said.

Subryan allegedly struck Raj Chohan, a 59-year-old grandmother, as she walked along parked cars on 117th Street in Queens when the car struck her and fled the scene.

Chohan was unconscious and unresponsive when officers and EMS arrived, police said. She was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where she was pronounced dead, police said.

Subryan was arrested without incident shortly after the crash, police said.

Cops: Fleeing man hits gas pump, sparking blaze


A city man faces multiple charges after wreaking havoc with his car Wednesday while driving through a Mont Pleasant neighborhood, police said.

Steven Braxton, 21, crashed into another vehicle, then fled the scene and slammed into a pump at a nearby gas station, sparking a fire, police said.

Braxton was arrested early Wednesday morning shortly after causing the fire at the Mobil station at 585 Broadway, authorities said. The driver had crashed his 2007 Mitsubishi into a car near the corner of Crane Street and Fourth Avenue, Lt. Mark McCracken, a police department spokesman said, and then drove down Crane Street but lost control of his car near the corner of Crane and Broadway.

Braxton hit a gas pump at the Mobil station and drove away, he said.

The base of the gas pump broke apart, sparking the fire.

The station’s fire suppression system extinguished the blaze before it spread.

A car parked at the gas station was damaged by debris from the crash, McCracken said. No injuries were reported.

Braxton, of Poplar Street, was charged with criminal mischief, aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and other traffic violations. He was arraigned in City Court and sent to Schenectady County Jail on $500 bail.