A person identified this evening as 54-year-old Gallupville resident Gary J. Schultz was found dead Wednesday in Schoharie County in the cab of a construction vehicle submerged in a private pond, according to police. The death was ruled accidental.
The Schoharie County Sheriff’s Office said the vehicle, a payloader, was upside down in a pond on Rickard Hill Road between Pickett Hill Road and Abrams Road in the town of Wright when police were called to the scene around 4:45 p.m.
Police said the payloader was at the bottom of a steep and “extremely icy” slope. A towing service was called to help remove the vehicle from the water. When the vehicle was removed, around 7:45, the operator was found dead in the cab. The body was sent to Albany Medical Center for an autopsy.
Because of the temperature of the water, a cold-water rescue team from the Berne Fire Department was deployed as a safety precaution for the recovery effort, police said.
The Schoharie County Sheriff’s Office also was assisted by the Gallupville and East Berne fire departments.