ATV event where man died was illegal, says Lewis County’s manager

Updated: May. 21, 2020 at 3:15 PM EDT
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TOWN OF NEW BREMEN, N.Y. (WWNY) - A weekend event connected to a fatal UTV crash was held illegally, according to Lewis County Manager Ryan Piche.

"The organizers of the event and the property owner did not have permission from the county to host an illegal event - an event that is against the governor's executive order for large gatherings and against the governor's order for campgrounds being open," said Piche.

The ATV event was held this past weekend at the Stuck in the Muck Offroad Park in the town of New Bremen.

Piche said the organizer, Eric Young, had permission to hold a club ride to clean up the trails.

"Clearly that was not the intent of the event," said Piche. "The intent was a large-scale riding event that was charging admission, had a food truck - clearly not the event that had been described to the county leadership."

Young did not return 7 News' repeated calls for comment.

The owner of the property, Paul Lyndaker, who also owns the neighboring Adirondack International Speedway, said Young was renting the property for trail riding, had proof of insurance and signed an agreement.

"He was the one doing the talking to the officials, county and state officials," said Lyndaker. "He told me he had all the proper permission."

Stuck in the Muck Offroad Park posted the following message on its Facebook page on May 10: “We are holding our first limited person event next weekend. We got approved for private camping and the atv trails. So things are looking good.”

Lyndaker said he suspects more people showed up than expected.

"That's my personal feeling - people were so happy to get out. It was a nice weekend, I guess they decided there was trail riding or something that really didn't have them invited, I don't believe," he said. "I think they just overloaded it."

During the event, state police said a 30 year old Oneida County man died while driving his UTV in the parking lot of the Adirondack International Speedway.

According to troopers, Danielluis Diaz of Blossvale struck a rut and flipped over. Diaz wasn’t wearing a seat belt or helmet, police said, and suffered severe head trauma.

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