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Weekend of SPAC performances included arrests, fatal accident

Weekend of SPAC performances included arrests, fatal accident

Police: Taxi was transporting a passenger at time of crash
Weekend of SPAC performances included arrests, fatal accident
Photographer: Shutterstock

SARATOGA SPRINGS — State park police responded to more than 100 calls over the weekend, including a fatal car accident, as fans turned out for performances by the Dave Matthews Band and Jason Aldean. 

Shortly after midnight on Monday, park police responded to a call, along with Saratoga Springs police and the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department, that a pedestrian had been struck while walking along Route 9. 

David Bridegroom, 19, was hit by a Toyota Camry that was an on-duty taxi for Saratoga Taxi, just north of Driscoll Road in the area of the Design Motel, police said.

Bridegroom, who had attended the Jason Aldean concert on Sunday, was taken to Saratoga Hospital by the Fire Department's ambulance and later died of his injuries, according to police. 

A large portion of the more than 100 calls park police responded to over the weekend were for medical assistance, vehicle and traffic violations and park violations, said Dan Keefe, deputy public information officer.

Keefe added that there was one reported assault, which was still under investigation on Monday, as well as three disorderly conduct complaints, two DWI arrests and a public lewdness arrest.

"Park police continue to encourage concert-goers to enjoy the events without becoming impaired by alcohol or drugs, as most problems during the weekend involved persons who were impaired," Keefe said. 

Dave Matthews Band performed at Saratoga Performing Arts Center on Friday and Saturday nights

The taxi that hit Bridegroom was being driven by Joseph Maheux, 24, who had picked up a passenger at the Design Motel before the crash, police said.

Maheux and the cab company are cooperating with investigators, police said.

Saratoga Springs police Lt. Robert Jillson said Bridegroom had gotten separated from those he was with at the concert.

"His friends and family were at the scene because they were trying to find him," Jillson said. 

Route 9 has been the scene of other fatalities during weekends of notable SPAC performances.

In June 2014, Gerard Spadory, 51, of North Haven, Connecticut, was killed after his vehicle was struck while attempting to pull a U-turn on Route 9 — 100 yards away from Exit 13 of the Northway. The accident occurred on the same night that Dave Matthews Band was performing at SPAC. 

After an Aug. 2013 Luke Bryan concert at SPAC, Christopher T. Thomas, 26, of Troy, was killed when his motorcycle collided with another vehicle while trying to enter Saratoga Spa State Park. 

Edward Bernys, 42, was also killed in 2010 as he attempted to cross Route 9 while walking back to his room at the Top of the Hill Motel just before midnight after a Dave Matthews Band concert. 

There were a total of 15 fatalities between January 2006 and October 2013, six involving pedestrians, along Route 9 from Malta to Avenue of the Pines. 

Jillson said the Police Department does not increase patrols along Route 9 during events at SPAC because of staffing issues and other calls. 

Though there have been fatalities involving cars and pedestrians along Route 9 —specifically between Crescent Avenue and Driscoll Road — they're not common, Jillson said. 

"There have been several accidents, but typically after concerts at SPAC, there's no reason for people to be walking along that area," he said. "Unfortunately, these things happen."

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