Twin 17-year-old brothers were killed Sunday night when the all terrain vehicles they were operating collided on a ridge not far from their home, police said.
Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Capt. Derek Pyle said Alexander and Zachary Rohloff were both pronounced dead at Troy’s St. Mary’s Hospital shortly after 7:30 p.m. Sunday.
He said a 15-year-old girl who was riding on the back of one of the ATVs was airlifted from the crash scene to Albany Medical Center Hospital and remained in critical condition as of Monday evening. Pyle said the girl’s name is not being released.
He said it is unclear exactly why the two ATVs collided.
“It was a head-on crash,” Pyle said. “One was apparently going down the hill as the other was going up. We don’t know why they crashed into one another. The area is mostly an open pasture.”
The accident scene, 139 Kardas Road, was just down the road from the teens’ home at 70 Kardas Road, Pyle said.
The teens’ father is Brian Rohloff, owner and operator of Rapid Rebar Inc. in Valley Falls and a developer who has built more than a dozen homes in Mechanicville in recent years. The boys had been students at Hoosic Valley High School.
“None of the victims was wearing a helmet,” Pyle said. “We do not have any reason to believe alcohol was involved.”
He said toxicology results will take several weeks but police found no evidence that the teens were drinking.
State law requires helmets for ATV operators, according to the state Department of Motor Vehicles. Although a license is not required, there are restrictions for operators under the age of 16, according to the DMV web site.
Ken McGuire is the secretary/treasurer of Rensselaer County’s Stateline Riders, a group with a membership in the New York State Off-Highway Recreational Vehicle Association. He said although the state requires ATVs to be registered at the time of purchase, there are few other requirements for the four-wheel recreational vehicles.