Friday December 21, 2012

NEAL P. GOSWAMI

Staff Writer

BENNINGTON -- A longtime employee of the local hospital died Thursday, succumbing to injuries sustained in a September hit-and-run crash.

Thrown 30 yards

Matthew Ratelle, 40, of Petersburgh, suffered massive trauma on Sept. 3 after being struck by a vehicle and thrown 30 yards from his bicycle. Ratelle had been in critical condition at Albany (N.Y.) Medical Center since the crash.

Ratelle was a nuclear medicine technologist at Southwestern Vermont Medical. He had been employed at the hospital since 1995, according to spokesman Kevin Robinson. Ratelle was "a key member of our decontamination team as well as paying an important role in ensuring radiation safety throughout the organization," Robinson said.

"Matt was a wonderful and important member of the health care team here at the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center. We are deeply saddened by his passing and we will certainly miss him. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family at this time," Robinson said. "It's a real loss for our health system and our community."

Becky Goodermote, 37, of Hoosick Falls, has been charged in the crash. Police say she left the scene of the crash without reporting it after striking Ratelle. She and the vehicle were located by police after a concerned family member reported that Goodermote had returned home that same morning with extensive damage to her vehicle that she could not explain.


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Goodermote has been already been arraigned on charges of leaving the scene of a serious personal injury accident, operating a vehicle while impaired by drugs, driving with a suspended registration and failure to use due care. She was briefly remanded to the Rensselaer County Jail after her arraignment in September but has since posted bail, according to Rensselaer County District Attorney Richard McNally Jr.

McNally said Thursday that charges against Goodermote will be upgraded as a result of Ratelle's death.

McNally said he will seek a resolution to the case that avoids trial.

"We'll probably talk to her lawyer and either resolve the case or put the case into grand jury," he said. "We try do that with most cases. I will not predict. We'll treat her firmly but fairly given the circumstance. If the case can't be resolved we will prepare it for the grand jury."

Ratelle was struck near the Barbecue Recreation Bowling Center on Route 22, just beyond the Village of Hoosick Falls, N.Y. New York State Police said Ratelle was riding his bicycle northbound within the right shoulder when he was hit by a car from behind. The impact threw Ratelle onto a grassy area about 30 yards north of where he was struck, according to investigators. He suffered massive trauma, despite wearing a helmet. Ratelle was initially transported to SVMC before being airlifted to Albany Medical Center.

Ratelle is survived by his wife, Jennifer, and their children Kylie and Connor; a third child is on the way