01 November 2019
NEW YORK STATE POLICE
Major Philip T. Rougeux
Troop D Commander
On October 31, 2019, at approximately 10:10 p.m., State Police in Herkimer responded to a report of a man being swept away in a torrent of floodwaters from Factory Brook along Military Road in the town of Norway, Herkimer County.
Factory Brook had overflowed its banks and was running over the roadway at a high level when a witness observed a 2017 Ford Fusion drive through the floodwaters and barely make it through. Due to the ditches of the roadway being undermined the road surface at the shoulder collapsed and the vehicle became stuck with its driver’s side wheels on the pavement and the passenger side in a ravine created by the floodwaters.
The operator, identified as John T. Connery, age 82 from Glenville, NY exited and began to walk towards the witness and back through the floodwaters he had just driven through. Due to the current, the man lost his footing and was washed downstream. Due to the dangerously high and strong current, the witness was unable to help Mr. Connery.
On November 1, 2019, at daybreak, a search began by members of the New York State Police Underwater Recovery Team (URT) after the floodwaters had receded. Mr. Connery was discovered deceased approximately a quarter-mile downstream.