This Day in History: 1957-03-04
A joyride ended in tragedy for a Mahwah boy and his Suffern companion when the car they had taken without permission crashed after a ninety mile chase through Rockland County. The two youths had sneaked out of their homes after their parents were asleep. Gary Smith, 16 of Mahwah took a 1957 convertible which belonged to Mayflower Plymouth Sales, of which his father was the general manager. He picked up the Thomas Emgre, 15 of Suffern and they went for a ride. When police in Spring Valley tried to stop them for running a red light at the corner of Routes 45 and 59, they set out at high speed through Haverstraw, Suffern and Ramapo at speeds of 90 miles per hour. In Tuxedo the police tried to stop him with a police car blocking one lane of the road and a truck parked on the other side of the road. Smith driving south on Route 17, crashed between the two vehicles and hit a tree fifty feet down the road. The Emgre boy was killed instantly. Smith suffered severe lacerations. The car was wrecked. He was treated at the Tuxedo Memorial Hospital and faced charges of reckless endangerment and various speeding violations in Spring Valley, and Ramapo when he was released. He was reported to have told police that he feared being stopped because he had no license.