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MONTGOMERY – On Friday, October 29, at approximately 10:25 p.m., Town of Montgomery Police and Village of Walden Police responded to a 911 call of an erratic driver traveling north on State Route 52 in the town of Newburgh. The vehicle, a 2018 Jeep Wrangler, was observed on Main Street by Walden Police and was subsequently stopped.
Town of Montgomery Police stopped to assist at the scene. As officers approached the vehicle, the operator, later identified as Joann Schields, 52 of Pine Bush, NY, fled the scene driving west on State Route 52 and after a short distance struck a 2013 Toyota Rav-4 head on that was traveling east. The operator of the Toyota, Elizabeth Bello, 35 from Wallkill was pronounced deceased at the scene. The two passengers in the vehicle, ages 16 and 6 were transported to Garnet Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. Schields was transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced deceased.
The Town of Montgomery. New Windsor and Newburgh Ambulance Corps, Mobil Life Support and the Walden Fire Department all assisted at the scene.
The New York State Police are assisting the New York State Attorney General’s Office with this investigation.
On Monday, Matt Lake had set up a GoFundMe page for Elizabeth Bello. It states, “Liz Bello had just turned 35 years old and recently celebrated her 5 year work anniversary. But on Friday 10/29/21 she was killed in a tragic car accident leaving both her immediate family and work family heartbroken. Liz is survived by her husband Jose and her three young kids Manny, Melanie, and Natalie. She was an extremely special person who was loved by so many and had a very bright future ahead of her in retail banking. She was proud of her Mexican heritage and passionate about helping others succeed.- personally or professionally. She truly made an impact on so many lives. I am asking for support to help Liz’s family with funeral expenses as well as other financial burdens that the family will incur as a result of this tragedy. This includes hospital bills for two of Liz’s 3 kids that survived the car accident but were seriously injured and are still in the hospital today. I thank you so much in advance for your support.”