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Hospital will no longer update Schuyler accident victim's condition

By ANDREW DONOVAN

(WKTV) - The Frankfort girl who was severely injured in Friday's car accident in Schuyler is still listed in critical condition, according to a spokesperson for Albany Medical Center. Sunday night, the hospital told NEWSChannel 2 they were no longer updating the patient's condition.

That information was obtained late Saturday and as of Sunday, hospital officials will not update the condition of 17-year-old Karissa Lavine, which may be upon request from the family.

Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), the patient, patient's family or hospital officials can withhold their condition if it is in the best interest of the patient.

Lavine was airlifted via helicopter from the accident scene early Saturday morning with a surgeon on-board, which does not commonly happen, according to fire officials.

Schuyler Fire Chief Robert Reska said that extra blood was brought to the scene from St. Elizabeth Medical Center, which is unprecedented. He said hospital administrators were woken up to approve the request.

The driver, 18-year-old Haley Shepard from Ilion, was discharged from St. Elizabeth Medical Center on Saturday, according to hospital officials.

The fatal accident did take the life of 16-year-old Katelynn Sweet of Herkimer, who was pronounced dead on the scene by the Herkimer County Coroner.

The accident took place on McKennon Road at around 10:40 p.m, in-front of house number 370. The tree was snapped in half due to the collision. The cause of the accident is still under investigation, according to New York State Police.

Sweet was a student at Herkimer High School, where the school district is putting their crisis plan into effect. According to high school Principal Terry Dangle, the crises team and administration will meet on Sunday and activate their crises plan for Monday and Tuesday.

According to the district's crisis plan, social workers and councilors will be available Monday and Tuesday in order to meet the needs of Sweet's classmates mourning her loss.

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