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The morning of October 14th, 2021 started like any other given Thursday. Jeff was lacing up his beloved Merrell boots while getting ready to head out to his job as a dump truck operator. He was talking to his partner, Krista about their plans for dinner that evening and looking forward to the weekend. They gave each other a hug and a kiss goodbye, telling each other to "be safe, and have a good day". Unbeknownst to them, this would be the last time they would share that little morning ritual.  

Less than an hour and a half later, Jeff was killed. 

That morning, Jeff was tasked with picking up a load of stone from Peckham Industries in Catskill to bring back to his worksite in Saugerties. Something he did 10-12 times a day every day for the past month. On his way back from his second haul, he was coming around the bend just north of Malden Turnpike on Route 9W in Saugerties, when a car pulled out from Malden Tpke and stopped in his lane of traffic. 

Jeff, using his quick thinking and skilled driving, swerved to avoid the car driven by Janos Koka which put him in the path of an oncoming school bus, which he also swerved to avoid. The weight from the 20 tons of stone in the back caused his truck to topple onto its driver's side, and slide down the roadway where he was struck by the bus he fought to avoid.

He was killed on impact. 

Leaving a permanent hole in the lives of his loving parents, sister, partner, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and colleagues. 

Now, imagine if there was a light at this intersection. Mr. Koka would have had no reason to pull into traffic and Jeff would still be alive today to fulfill his dream of owning a homestead and starting a family. 

We are calling out the New York State Department of Transportation to demand a light be installed at this intersection. For years they have denied requests for lowered speed limits in the area, shrubbery removal, and light to remedy countless accidents and fatalities that have occurred here. 

We say enough is enough. 

We refuse to have Jeff's untimely and avoidable death be ignored by New York State bureaucrats and politicians. We ask that you help our cause by signing our petition. Change starts with you so that another family doesn't have to know the pain of losing their loved one at this intersection. 




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