Ridgefield man awarded for actions in Candlewood boating accident

A Ridgefield man was one of three current or former Wooster School students recognized for their efforts to save the life of a woman on Candlewood Lake almost a year ago.

Josh Carone of Ridgefield, Danbury resident Alicia Nicoletti, and Bayley Storrier of Wilton were given the Lifesaving Award by Commissioner Katherine S. Dykes of the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection at a ceremony on May, 24.

Carone graduated from Wooster in 2018, Nicoletti is a member of the class of 2020, and Storrier is a member of the class of 2019, the school said.

The three students were in a boat on Candlewood Lake on June 19, 2018, when they spotted passengers on another boat “crossing their arms to form an ‘X’ and yelling for help,” as described by the school.

There was an injured woman in the water. Carone and Storrier immediately jumped into the water to help a man who was trying to pull the woman out of the water onto his boat.

Once the woman was onboard, the three students began assessing her injuries and vital signs. Carone created a tourniquet to stop the woman’s bleeding from an injury on her right arm, while Nicoletti and Storrier performed CPR. “They continued to provide CPR until New Fairfield Fire Department personnel arrived on scene,” the press release said, and they stayed with the woman while she was transported to Danbury Hospital by ambulance.

Storrier and Carone also provided eyewitness accounts to DEEP Environmental Conservation Police during their criminal investigation.

The woman pulled from the water, identified as Waterbury teacher Wanda Tirado, 38, was pronounced dead the following morning. She had been struck by the propeller of the pontoon boat on which she had been riding, according to reporting by the Danbury NewsTimes.

A lawsuit was later filed against the boat’s pilot, Gary Marrone, by Tirado’s mother, seeking $1.5 million.

Marrone was charged with first-degree reckless operation, failure to help a collision victim and failure to immediately notify law enforcement in connection with the accident, the NewsTimes reported in July of last year.