An autopsy conducted late Tuesday determined the man whose body was found Monday in an ice fishing shanty on the Great Sacandaga Lake died of hypothermia, Sheriff Thomas J. Lorey said Wednesday.
Lorey said the autopsy, conducted at Nathan Littauer Hospital, determined Shawn Simboli, 49, of Broadalbin, suffered only minor injuries in the Sunday night accident on the Great Sacandaga Lake near Vandenburg Point.
Simboli walked about two miles after crashing his snowmobile through the ice and was found Monday afternoon in a fishing shanty in Sunset Bay. Lorey said Simboli, who had a blood-alcohol content of 0.16 percent, was apparently disoriented from hypothermia after being submerged in the icy water.
Drinking probably contributed to the accident, Lorey said, but was probably not responsible for the disorientation that led Simboli to pass numerous inhabited houses.
Meanwhile, the man accused of stealing Simboli’s snowmobile was freed Tuesday afternoon after bail was set in Mayfield Town Court at $2,500. Jacob Conyne, 23, of Second Avenue, was charged Tuesday with a felony count of third-degree grand larceny.
Lorey said Conyne came upon the machine sometime Monday. Conyne called authorities after learning that a body had been found on the lake, Lorey said.
But, Conyne’s attorney, Ronald R. Schur Jr., said Conyne was wrongly charged and that there are at least six witnesses who will testify that Conyne had no intention of keeping the sled and made numerous inquiries about finding its owner.
Schur said the sled sat in two feet of water on the ice and that Conyne in the presence of a number of witnesses and in broad daylight determined there was no body at the accident scene and then loaded the sled into his truck.