Sacandaga Lake snowmobiler dies

A Broadalbin man died in a fishing shanty after wandering away from a snowmobile accident late Sunda

A Broadalbin man died in a fishing shanty after wandering away from a snowmobile accident late Sunday on Great Sacandaga Lake, and a second man is under arrest, charged with stealing the crashed machine.

“It’s bizarre,” Fulton County Sheriff Thomas J. Lorey said Tuesday.

Shawn Simboli, 49, of county Highway 109, Broadalbin, is believed to have crashed his machine through the ice late Sunday night or early Monday morning off Vandenburg Point. He was found dead about 4:30 p.m. Monday about two miles to the north in Sunset Bay.

Lorey said Simboli may have been disoriented from hypothermia as he walked off shore, not far from numerous inhabited houses. Simboli was found by the owner of the shanty and had been dead for some time, Lorey said. Simboli had apparently tried to wrap himself in a mattress he found in the shack.

Earlier on Monday afternoon, Lorey said, Jacob Conyne, 23, of Second Avenue, Mayfield, was ice fishing off Vandenburg Point when he happened upon the partially submerged sled. Conyne, who was arrested Tuesday on a charge of third-degree grand larceny, returned with his pickup truck and took the sled, Lorey said. It was recovered Tuesday at a location on Priddle Point. Lorey said Conyne also took the victim’s helmet and gloves from the accident scene.

Conyne was identified, Lorey said, when he learned a body had been found and decided to call the county Sheriff’s Department.

Lorey said the finder of the snowmobile should have called emergency dispatchers. He said the department was arranging for divers to investigate the crash scene when Conyne called to report he had the machine.

An autopsy on Simboli began late Tuesday. Lorey said it was evident that Simboli had been fully submerged before crawling back onto the ice. The temperature that night was in single digits, he said.

Lorey said Simboli had been with friends Sunday but had become separated and was riding alone. The accident occurred sometime after he left a tavern in Broadalbin, Lorey said.

Simboli’s girlfriend called about noon Monday to report him missing.

Lorey said it was not unusual for Simboli to ride alone and when he was snowmobiling he sometimes stayed at friends’ homes. Friends searching for Simboli on Monday found debris at the crash scene and began following Simboli’s tracks. They arrived at the fishing shanty just after the owner found the body, Lorey said.

Lorey said Simboli was apparently driving the snowmobile at a high rate of speed when he hit the ice ridge just south of Beacon Island.

Conyne was scheduled for arraignment late Tuesday in Mayfield Town Court. Fulton County District Attorney Louise K. Sira said a bail figure would be decided at the arraignment.

Sira agreed that the case presents “a bizarre set of circumstances.”

She said the authorities should have been called immediately when the accident scene was discovered and she said she wonders if the “outcome could have been different” if there had been such a report.

Categories: Schenectady County

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