Accident kills groom on his wedding day

September 19, 2011 2:40:46 PM PDT
State police say a groom died in a New York accident just hours after his wedding.

MILLBROOK State police are still trying to piece together the circumstances surrounding the groom's death on his wedding night.

It was a tragic accident that has left a community in mourning and guests in shock.

"It's hard to conceive, believe this would happen to anybody," wedding guest Tom Higgins said.

Yet just 30 minutes after Higgins last spoke to Nicholas Hoag, Nicholas and his brother Christopher were flipped from a Can-Am Commander 1000 utility terrain vehicle, according to police. The UTV landed on top of Nicholas, ultimately killing him.

"To have something like this to happen is just devastating," neighbor Doug Mayette said.

Mayette said many in Wingdale are stunned.

Police said Christopher Hoag was charged with driving while intoxicated.

"I can't believe what the brother must be going through," he said.

Nicholas Hoag and Amber Sartori had married earlier that day at the Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church in Sherman, Conn.

The wedding reception was held at the inn at Dover Furnace, a private facility.

"It was a regular wedding, with dancing and everybody was happy, out there on the floor. It's hard to conceive," Higgins said.

State police say Nicholas and his brother, Christopher, who was driving, left the reception heading down a road and for some unexplained reason hit a tree, flipping the high end ultra terrain vehicle and ejecting Nicholas just before the vehicle landed on him.

Neighbors say the bride, Amber Sartori, is grief stricken.

"I couldn't bear going over to the house yesterday with everybody crying. I stopped over today for a couple of minutes to express my condolences, but it's hard to conceive something happened like this," Higgins said.

She is a nurse at the Putnam Valley Hospital Center.

Her father, Michael Sartori of Wingdale, calls the tragedy a "living nightmare."

The groom's brother was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.