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County planner dies Monday following crash

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LOWVILLE — The senior planner in Lewis County died Monday of injuries she suffered in a car crash Saturday afternoon in the town of Harrisburg.

The death of Renee J. Beyer, 39, of 3950 Rector Road, was announced on a Facebook page her family and friends created to raise money to pay her medical bills.

“A wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, co-worker, neighbor and incredible woman has lost an awful struggle today,” the statement read. The notice also stated her organs would be donated.

Mrs. Beyer was taken by helicopter to Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, after the crash at 1:22 p.m. Saturday on Route 12 near Cobb Road. Her vehicle was struck by a vehicle driven by Deborah Aguirre, 40, of 1429 Gill St., Apt. 446B, Watertown. No information was available Monday night about Ms. Aguirre’s condition.

Reacting to Mrs. Beyer’s death, Lewis County leaders Monday night mourned what one described as “a huge loss for the community.”

Board of Legislators Chairman Michael A. Tabolt, R-Croghan, said Mrs. Beyer’s personality and character were irreplaceable and she was “everything you’d want in a county employee.”

“You don’t find that kind of person around, and she’ll never be replaced,” Mr. Tabolt said.

He said Mrs. Beyer was someone on whom he relied when he was elected legislator four years ago.

“She was more than happy to help,” Mr. Tabolt said.

The last time the two spoke, on Thursday, Mr. Tabolt said, Mrs. Beyer was going to help him work through a problem he was encountering.

He said he was shocked when he learned of the crash.

“You just keep hoping she’s going to be OK,” Mr. Tabolt said. “It’s just, you never know when you’re going to see somebody for the last time, so you really have to cherish them.”

Lewis County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Anne L. Merrill praised Mrs. Beyer for her intelligence and love of the community.

“I can’t say enough good things about her,” she said. “It’s going to be a huge loss for the community and the county.”

The group in which the notice was posted Monday can be found at www.facebook.com/pages/Renee-Rhubart-Beyer-Fundraiser/294383137361266.

Johnson Newspapers writer Christina Scanlon contributed to this report.

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