‘Medical incident’ cited in death of sheriff’s diver
The Ulster County Sheriff’s Office dive team member who died last week after falling unconscious during a training exercise suffered an unspecified “medical incident” that led to his death, according to state police.
Sgt. Kerry Winters’ death has been ruled accidental, Trooper Steven Nevel said Friday. Nevel said he did not know the specific cause.
A final autopsy report will follow completion of toxicology results, but the investigation is “pretty much all wrapped up,” Nevel said.
Winters, 51, a 30-year veteran of the Sher-
iff’s Office, died Sept. 22 after being found unconscious during an in-water dive training exercise in the Ashokan Reservoir in town of Olive. The sergeant, an experienced and accomplished diver who had been on the sheriff’s dive team for 15 years, was wearing
full dive gear and a backup air supply when the accident occurred, Sheriff Paul VanBlarcum said last week.
The sheriff said Winters was missing for less than five minutes when the search-and-rescue effort began.
Winters’ death was to be investigated by state police and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, VanBlarcum said.
Winters, whose full-time
assignment was being a corrections officer at the Ulster County Jail, was laid to rest Thursday after his funeral at a Glasco church. More than 1,000 law-enforcement personnel and other emergency responders lined U.S. Route 9W in Saugerties to pay their last respects as the funeral process made its way from the church to the cemetery.
Winters is survived by his wife, Michele, and two sons.