Update (5/28/2024):

New York State Police are reporting that Troopers were called to the scene of a reported accident at approximately 7:30 p.m. Monday for reports of a UTV in a ditch with a possible entrapment. They were called to the address at 1011 Hardscrabble Road in Bridgewater. State Police say their investigation determined 38-year-old Eric Ruggles of Cassville was operating a 2020 Polaris Ranger UTV when he struck a mailbox, overturned after hitting a culvert and overturned. Upon arrival, first responders pronounced the victim dead at the scene. State Police were assisted by the Bridgewater Fire Department.


The New York State Police are investigating the details surrounding a fatal UTV crash that occurred Monday night in the Oneida County Town of Bridgewater. While there are very few details known at this time, one resident reported arriving on scene alongside a neighbor, prior to EMS arrival in order to attempt to save the individual.

John Goodenough is a longtime resident of the Town of Bridgewater and he reports seeing the unfortunate aftermath of the accident on his road, Hardscrabble Road off of Mapledale Road. Goodenough says he heard about the incident on his scanner, ran out his front door, got in his car and drove up the road and saw a neighbor performing CPR on the crash victim. Goodenough says he was an EMT previously in Clayville and his instincts kicked in. It is never easy to deal with a situation like that.

As the neighbor was conducting CPR in the form of chest compressions, due to severe injuries, Goodenough made efforts to stabilize the victims head and control the bleeding with work uniforms he had in his vehicle. Then, Goodenough switched places with his neighbor continuing chest compressions until EMS arrived. All the while, family and friends were shouting out to Goodenough and the neighbor to help in any way possible.

Goodenough says of the incident,

It was a terrible, terrible tragedy at the end of the Memorial Day weekend. No matter the circumstances, this is a terrible tragedy and I encourage everyone to pray for his family and friends during this difficult time. I also want to commend and thank the first responders in Bridgewater for their timely response and doing all they could to continue to try and save this victim.

Goodenough and his neighbors should be commended for their efforts. We will continue to provide details as they become available. State Police continue to investigate this tragic accident.

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