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ROCK HILL - The father of one of the teenaged accident victims has retained a law firm, which has already started its own investigation into the Rock Hill incident on Sunday, June 2 that resulted in the deaths of Devin Zeininger and Justin Finkel.

Zeininger, 16, of Glen Wild and Finkel, 14, a former Town of Thompson resident who was most recently living in the Albany NY area, were struck and killed around 3:15 pm by a vehicle driven by Isaac Kantrowitz, a retired Town of Fallsburg judge. Troop F of the State Police in Wurtsboro are continuing their investigation into the tragedy.

"We've done a lot of research on the case already and all the evidence that we have uncovered so far does seem to suggest that the victims were blameless in the accident and that it was completely and solely the fault of the judge," said Gregory Sobo, a partner at Sobo & Sobo, a regional law firm that opened an office in Monticello earlier this month.

Sobo said that that the firm's lead investigator has already spoken to witnesses and are looking at physical evidence.

According to Sobo, one of those witnesses was a third boy who was also with Zeininger, a student at Monticello High School, and Finkel, a former student who was visiting the area, that day. That boy is no longer hospitalized, said Sobo, and has already provided a statement to the law firm.

Kevin Zeininger, who retained the firm, told The SullivanTimes late Sunday that the teens were walking back from the antique/custom auto show at The Sullivan Event Center in Rock Hill just prior to the accident on Glen Wild Road. He added that as of Sunday that he had not received any call from District Attorney Jim Farrell.

Christina Zeininger, the boy's mother, said in an interview Monday that her son was "full of life" and was happy.

She added that he was about to move with his father to Florida to begin his junior year in high school. She said that she had also videochatted with Justin Finkel a few weeks before the accident and called him "a nice boy."

She said that she learned of the accident about two hours after it happened when she received a call from her other son, Blaze.

"I just want justice for them," she said of her son and his friend.

She said she was shocked to learn about Kantrowitz's prior accidents.

"From everything I've learned about his driving record," she said, "how did anyone let him drive? How was he insured? How did he have his license?




LIVINGSTON MANOR - Megan A. Fessak, a registered nurse who was involved in an April 2018 accident with Isaac Kantrowitz on Route 42 in Woodbourne, today told The SullivanTimes that Fallsburg police officers first interviewed the former judge on the scene and barely interviewed her -- even though she was rear ended by the vehicle driven by Kantrowitz.

According to Fessak, she was lost on that day and had pulled into the parking lot of John's Auto so she could use her GPS safely.

"Once I was ready to leave I checked traffic in both directions...and was overly cautious when looking over to the left being that the road had a tight curve 500 plus feet prior to John's Auto," Fessak said. "Upon confirming my left side was clear, I proceeded to make a right turn from John's Auto onto SR 42 heading north. A few seconds after fully entering Route 42, I was slammed from behind by another vehicle. The force was so great that it spun my car completely around, facing now the opposite side of the road. "

She said that she and her daughter did not suffer serious physical injuries.

Fessak was traveling with her autistic daughter, whose name is on the accident report. She alleges that Kantrowitz should have seen her bright blue vehicle in the road and would have had sufficient time to slow down, adding that there were no skid marks. Fessak said that Kantrowitz's vehicle ended up in a ditch on the opposite side of the road.

Fessak said that immediately after the accident, she asked Kantrowitz if he was okay, but that he never asked her the same. “It disturbed me later on,” she said. Fessak's cellphone (described by Fessak as a flip phone) did not have service in the area so she asked if she could use his cellphone so they could call the police - but she says he refused to call police and then further refused when she asked if she could use his phone to make the call.

It turned out that upon the impact of the accident, though, her new vehicle called OnStar, the built-in electronic system that automatically contacts emergency responders in serious crashes where air bags are deployed. She says that Fallsburg Police showed up in about 20 minutes, followed by EMS and the fire department.

She said that John Chevalier of the Fallsburg Police Department did not come over to ask for her version of events. "So I found it necessary to approach him in his squad car in order to explain to him what had actually happened," Fessak said, adding that she believes the officers were attempting to “railroad” her into believing the accident was entirely her fault. “They didn’t seem to believe me, “ she said.

Fessak added that Kantrowitz at least three times kept asking Officer Chevalier to call 'them" to say he was running late for his meeting but that Chevalier told the retired judge that was very busy and he would have to wait.

On April 28, Fessak said that she went to the Fallsburg Police Department in South Fallsburg to pick up the accident report with her husband.

"Immediately after receiving the police report I noticed that the view depicting the positions of the cars after the accident was not correct and I also noticed that the "pictures taken" box was checked "no," she said.

Fessak he said that she was advised by the sergeant that the report had not been submitted to the state yet and that she could speak with Officer Chevalier when he returned.

"Once Officer Chevalier arrived I spoke to him, and mentioned that the way the report is written and the view that the autos were depicted make it appear that the accident was my fault," Fessak said. "Officer Chevalier told me that had it been my fault he would have issued me a ticket. "





The SullivanTimes has learned exclusively this morning (Sunday) that retired Fallsburg Justice Isaac Kantrowitz was involved in two additional accidents, one on March 22, 2016 in the ShopRrite parking lot of Monticello and another on April 24, 2018 that occurred on Route 42 in Fallsburg. 

That makes four auto accidents in three years.

Before the tragedy one week ago today that killed two teens and injured a third, Kantrowitz struck a shopping cart being pushed by a man (Leonard Gross) directly in front of ShopRite, collided with a vehicle (driven by Megan Fessak) on Route 42 in Fallsburg , and struck a pedestrian (Irina Prokopenko) who suffered serious injuries on Glen Wild Road in Fallsburg.

The Department of Motor Vehicle accident report from the 2016 incident at ShopRite shows signatures by Deputy Sheriff Kevin Lupardo and Sgt. Blake Starner. The April 2018 report shows signatures by Fallsburg Police Officers John Chevalier and Tracey Scheuring. The accident report from the December 2018 incident involving the pedestrian on Glen Wild Road was also signed by Chevalier and Scheuring.

The SullivanTimes has reached out to Gross, the pedestrian in the ShopRite incident, as well as Megan Fessak of Hillsborough NJ , the driver in the Route 42 collision, which occurred just south of Beaver Lane.

Gross, 75, who worked at Kutsher's for 43 years, including organizing the famous Maurice Stokes' games, said late Sunday:

"He hit my cart and the force knocked me down," Gross said about Kantrowitz. "He never came over to apologize." Gross added that he did not pursue a civil suit since he was not seriously injured. He said he was "pissed off" that he had to pay a $200 bill for the Mobile Medic.  "They (police) went to him (Kantrowtiz) first and were talking with him as if they knew him, " Gross said. "I was the victim but they went right to him. It seemed like they knew him and obviously if he was a judge they probably did." Gross said his former Kutsher's colleague, David Mayberg, was a witness to the aftermath of the accident.

In the April 2018 incident, Kantrowitz also allegedly showed little concern for the driver of the vehicle -- Megan Feslate -- according to her husband Paul Fessak. He told The SullivanTimes late Sunday that his wife told him that Kantrowitz even asked the police if he could get a ride because he was late for a meeting.

He added that official accident report does not reflect the totality of what really happened, adding that even if his wife should not have pulled into the intersection, "that car had ample time to slow down or stop and there were no skid marks there." He said his wife's car was struck from the rear. She did not receive any tickets. Megan Fessak is currently in Livingston Manor but has no cell service but we are told she would get back to The SullivanTimes on Monday.

Her stepson, John Fessak, told The SullivanTimes late Sunday that her car was totaled. Her vehicle and Kantrowitz's vehicle were towed to two different garages, according to the accident report. The accident report (below) also stated that no photographs were taken by law enforcement. But Paul Fessak said that he took many photos of the accident scene. Kantrowitz was driving a 2016 KIA and Fessak was driving a 2018 Chevrolet.

Jacob Billig previously served as the attorney for the Town of Fallsburg and the Town of Liberty, according to his biography. He is the son-in-law of Kantrowitz. The SullivanTimes has asked Town of Fallsburg Supervisor Steve Vegliante, who doubles as a police commissioner, for comment. This is a developing story. -- Rich Klein


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