|Henry P. Aguilar|
|Birth: ||unknown, Honduras|
|Death: ||Sep. 29, 1996|
New York, USA
"Fatality probe grows
Body returned to Honduras
By OLIVER MACKSON
MIDDLETOWN - Henry P. Aguilar's body was returned to his native Honduras yesterday, as police stepped up their investigation of his Sept. 24 death in a bicycle accident.
Aguilar's 10-speed bike and the 1989 Honda Accord that collided with it were locked inside a trailer and moved to the State Police lab in Albany, where investigators will look for microscopic clues and eventually reconstruct the accident.
Police say there's no telling how long it could take to determine if Aguilar's death was purely an accident, or something that could lead to criminal charges against the 16-year-old driving the car.
What they do know is that the teen left the scene of the 7:35 a.m. accident, but was cooperative after police found her car Sept. 26 in a parking lot at Middletown High School, Lt. Thomas Valentia said.
She told police she had music playing that day as she drove to school from her home in the Town of Wallkill, and didn't know she'd been in an accident until police first spoke with her.
After speaking twice with police, the girl is now represented by a lawyer, Martin R. Goldberg, of Middletown. He didn't return phone calls yesterday.
The Times Herald-Record is withholding the girl's name until more details about the incident become available.
Hours of canvassing the intersection of Wickham and Fairlawn avenues, where the collision occurred, hasn't turned up anyone who actually saw the impact. What will happen now is a painstaking search for everything from tiny flecks of skin cells to faint marks that might tell investigators what Henry Aguilar could not. He lapsed into a coma and was removed from life support Sept. 29 at Horton Medical Center.
'You naturally establish who hit who, and this can be done by examining, usually, the vehicle,' said Trooper Mike Voss. 'If there's some sort of impact, that would indicate the speed. The accident may have been a sideswipe, if there's a dent that's elongated or a crease moving in either direction.'
Voss is a State Police accident reconstructionist who has conducted several inquiries into fatal accidents over the last three years. He wouldn't discuss specific cases, but in investigations like that of the collision that killed Aguilar, he said even microscopic samples of blood, paint and skin cells can be enlightening.
'That can help you establish the angle that the vehicles are traveling at, which can ultimately determine who was at fault,' Voss said.
Aguilar, 43, worked kitchen jobs at the Red Lobster on Route 211 in the old Orange Plaza and at Ruby Tuesday's in the Galleria at Crystal Run.
He always rode his bicycle to work, a Red Lobster manager said yesterday. Aguilar wasn't wearing a helmet the day of the accident, but several other employees who also bike to work have started wearing them.
Nidia Minniefield of Middletown, who's friendly with the Aguilar family, said they were overwhelmed by the response of people like the employees of Red Lobster, who helped raise more than $8,000 needed to return Henry Aguilar's body to Honduras.
'It's just unbelievable for them to be strangers here,' she said, ''and to have the response from people that they did.''
NOTE: no relation to B.E.F. Stienstra.
Created by: Barbara Elsie Feist Stie...
Record added: May 18, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 19430840