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Saratoga County

Community reacts to death of Minisink Valley graduate

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Albany/HV: Community reacts to death of Minisink Valley graduate
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Friends and former coaches of Minisink Valley High School graduate John Behler speak out following his death. The 20-year-old was killed and three others, including his sister, were injured in a car crash early Saturday morning. YNN's Alexandra Weishaupt has more.

GOSHEN, N.Y. -- Joseph Tripodo said, “I don’t think its hit everyone yet that he’s gone. It hit me last night pretty hard.”

Joseph Tripodo reacts to his friend and former teammate's death. John Behler was driving along Route 17 in Goshen when his car careened into a guardrail, killing him. His passengers, Matthew Ferber, 26, Chelsea Gallagher, 23, and his sister, Carolyn Behler, 24, were taken to area hospitals.

Tripodo said, “It’s really horrible it’s the worst thing that could happen.”

Together the two played baseball and football for the Warriors. John was a linebacker and a running back, voted captain and hardest worker on the team.

Minisink Valley High School Assistant Football Coach Scott Hendershot said, “He was a natural leader. Kids rallied around him, He was a jokester, a prankster, but when it was time to go it was go time for him.”

Not only was John a warrior on the athletic fields, but he was a warrior in life, having battled and beaten a devastating illness.

Minisink Valley High School Head Football Coach, Kevin Gallagher said, “His senior year during baseball they discovered it. His saying -- which was awesome was, ‘Cancer picked the wrong warrior.’”

So many will remember him as having that strength of character which made him a standout
both on and off the field.

Tripodo said, “Just as a great person overall, a guy who would do anything for anyone. He’s going to be truly missed.”

According to family, Carolyn Behler underwent surgery at Westchester Medical Center. Chelsea Gallagher has since been released from the hospital. Her family says the four were eating in the car and may have been speeding as well. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

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