Woman dies after vehicle left in neutral

Car submerged in waterway while woman trapped inside

LAKE PLEASANT — A 69-year-old woman died on Saturday after being trapped in a vehicle that had rolled down an embankment into a waterway.

According to a press release from the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, Frederick Stoss, 68, and his wife, Dorothy Stoss, of Rochester pulled their 2015 Subaru to the side of Route 30 in Lake Pleasant to take photos.

Hamilton County Sheriff Karl Abrams said the sky was a “beautiful pink” on Saturday, and Frederick Stoss who is an avid photographer wanted to take some pictures.

Frederick Stoss exited the vehicle to grab his camera from the rear of the vehicle when the vehicle began to roll down an embankment.

Abrams said the vehicle was inadvertently left in neutral, and that Stoss wasn’t fully out of the vehicle when he realized it was in neutral and got back into the vehicle to attempt to stop the vehicle from rolling, but was thrown out when it struck a large log.

The vehicle continued to roll down the embankment and entered into the waterway where it became submerged.

Stoss made attempts to try to save his wife, but could not do so. He began yelling for help, and nearby campers heard him. The campers called 911, and law enforcement, fire and ambulance crews responded to the scene.

According to the release, a third party witness removed Dorothy Stoss from the vehicle and waterway.

Lifesaving efforts were made at the scene, and continued on route to Nathan Littauer Hospital. Dorothy Stoss was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Abrams said Frederick Stoss did receive some minor injuries and was treated and released at Nathan Littauer Hospital.

“Thank God some people were close who could come to their aid,” Abrams said.

Responding to the scene were members of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, Speculator Volunteer Ambulance Corps., Speculator Volunteer Fire Department, Indian Lake Ambulance, members from Lake Pleasant Volunteer Fire Department and Greater Amsterdam Volunteer Ambulance Corps.

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