GHENT — A Columbia County man was airlifted to Albany Medical Center following a two-car accident on Monday afternoon in Ghent, Kristin M. Lowman, chief of agency publications for state police, said Tuesday.

William Cooley, 51, of Ghent, suffered a head injury in the crash. The other driver, Samuel Fairall, 20, of Austerlitz, was taken to Columbia Memorial Health for evaluation, Lowman said.

At about 5:18 p.m. West Ghent Fire Company and Greenport Rescue Squad were sent by Columbia County 911 to Route 66, just south of Tipple Road, after receiving reports of a two-car accident.

When rescue crews arrived on the scene, Cooley was found inside his vehicle with a head injury. Paramedics and firefighters worked to get him out of the car. He was placed in a waiting ambulance taken to the Columbia County Airport to be transferred to a waiting Life Net helicopter.

Route 66 was closed between Tipple Road and Bender Boulevard until the crash was cleared.

A small crowd of onlookers watch paramedics work.

Ghent Fire Company responded under mutual aid to assist with traffic control.

Stottville Fire Department was requested to set up the landing zone at the Columbia County Airport.

Both cars were towed from the scene.

The cause of the accident remains under investigation, Lowman said.

Route 66 was reopened and all firefighters were back in service by 6:30 p.m.

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