Police probe Balltown accident

Local police have done a second round of interviews with witnesses as they seek to piece together exactly what happened in a Saturday evening accident that has left one local boy unconscious in an area hospital.

The initial police report said that the two boys, 12-year-old Julian Mallein and 11-year-old Dustin DiGirolamo, were hit by an oncoming vehicle as they were skateboarding across Balltown Road, but that is being disputed by the younger member of the pair.

We are re-interviewing witnesses to determine exactly what happened at the scene, Niskayuna police Lt. Stanley Fiminski Jr. said. "Right now, we don't know how much longer it is going to take before we wrap everything up on this, but no charges have been filed at this time."

The investigation is continuing in light of claims by DiGirolamo that both boys got off their skateboards before walking across the heavily traveled street near the corner of Van Antwerp Road. While crossing the street they were hit by a 2006 Nissan Murano driven by 43-year old Michael W. Welsh of Kinderhook, according to police.

While the police investigation is ongoing, an initial determination made at the scene indicated that the crosswalk wasn't used and that "pedestrian error was a contributing factor to the accident." No charges have been filed against the driver.

After being struck, DiGirolamo was transported by ambulance to Albany Medical Center where he was treated for minor injuries and released. A preliminary determination at the scene indicated that Mallein was more seriously injured and he was rushed via helicopter to Albany Medical Center. He remains in the hospital with a broken leg as well as head and internal injuries. As of Monday, he was reportedly on a machine to assist his breathing and was suffering from swelling of the brain. Doctors have weighed when it would be best to operate on Mallein's broken thighbone. Due to confidentiality rules, hospital officials declined to confirm the details of the boy's condition.

The accident took place at the start of what was expected to be a happy weekend with the two boys planning a sleepover that evening that had already been approved by their parents. The pair was crossing Balltown Road to get movies from a local rental outlet when they were struck.

Asked about conditions at the intersection, Town Supervisor Luke Smith said he hasn't heard of any pedestrian accidents near that intersection of Balltown Road in recent years. ""

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