Fatal crash involving stolen vehicle under investigation
The Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office reports the investigation into a two-car fatal crash involving a stolen vehicle, which occurred at approximately 6:25 am on 3/28/23 on Route 9 in the Town of Rhinebeck.
On the above date and time, Deputies responded to Route 9 near Closs Drive in the Town of Rhinebeck for the report of a serious crash. Preliminary investigation has revealed that a 2017 Chevrolet van operated by Jonathan A. Kiech (age 49 of Ford, NJ) was traveling northbound on Route 9 when it was struck head-on by a southbound 2015 Toyota 4Runner. The 4Runner is a confirmed stolen vehicle from the State of Connecticut, and its operator was a 14-year-old juvenile. Mr. Kiech was pronounced dead at the scene, and the juvenile was initially transported to Mid-Hudson Regional Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries but has since been remanded to a secure detention facility pending further investigation/charges. Both operators were the sole occupants of their respective vehicles, and the juvenile operator will not be identified due to their age.
The 4Runner in this crash is one of several reported as stolen from the northern Dutchess County/Eastern Connecticut areas during the late-night hours of 3/27/23 or early morning hours of 3/28/23. Further investigation into those thefts is continuing, however at this time they are thought to be the work of an organized group which has previously operated out of Connecticut. As such the Sheriff’s Office would like to warn residents to always lock their vehicles, never leave valuables or the keys/fob inside, never leave the vehicle running unattended, and never confront the perpetrator(s) yourself as they should be considered armed and dangerous. If you observe a suspicious person or someone attempting to commit one of these thefts, please call 911 immediately and let law enforcement handle the matter.
The Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the scene by the Dutchess County Medical Examiner’s Office, the New York State Police, the Town of Rhinebeck Fire Department, and the Hillside Fire Department. The investigation is continuing, and more information may be released at a later time as it develops.