Warren Center

The sign of Warren Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing is seen on Saturday in Queensbury. A resident of died Friday evening when he was thrown from a wheelchair while in a nursing home van being transported to Glens Falls Hospital, police said.

Don Lehman, dlehman@poststar.com

Editor's Note: This story was corrected to reflect Mr. Bovair was headed back to the nursing home from a medical appointment.

QUEENSBURY — A resident of Warren Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing died Friday evening when he was thrown from a wheelchair while in a nursing home van that was taking him back to the home from a medical appointment, police said.

The man’s name was not released early Saturday.

The accident happened on Main Street around 5 p.m. Friday, and the Warren County Sheriff’s Office is investigating.

Sheriff’s Lt. Steve Stockdale said the nursing home staff driving the van told police they had to take quick action to avoid a car that “cut them off.”

The man who was being transported from the Queensbury home was thrown from the chair and suffered unspecified injuries, and was pronounced dead a short time later.

“The wheelchair was secured in the van, but he was not secured to the wheelchair,” Stockdale said.

Stockdale said nursing home staff indicated they did not have a belt that fit the man “comfortably” on the wheelchair.

It was unclear Saturday whether the other vehicle purportedly involved remained at the scene.

A call to the home was referred to the company that owns the home, Centers Health Care, of New York City. Jeffrey Jacomowitz, a spokesman, said the home’s staff was devastated by the resident’s death.

“We express our deepest condolences to the family and, at the same time, the facility is working closely with authorities to determine the cause of this tragedy,” he said in a prepared statement. “As a well-respected post-acute care organization in the community, we will take every step to make sure that something like this never happens again.”

Centers Health Care purchased the home from Warren County at the end of 2015.

An autopsy on the man was scheduled for Saturday at Albany Medical Center.

Stockdale said no charges had been filed, but the investigation was continuing.

The sale of the county-run home was controversial, as many critics were concerned about what they considered a dubious track record at Centers Health Care’s other homes. The company bought numerous home in upstate New York in recent years.

Warren Center, formerly known as Westmount Health Facility, had a four-star rating from the state when sold by the county, but that rating had dropped to one star this year. The company’s leader said in August that drop occurred because it was accepting patients with more medical problems than the county did.

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reporter

Don Lehman covers crime and Warren County government for The Post-Star. His work can be found on Twitter @PS_CrimeCourts and on poststar.com/app/blogs.

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