Wilton teen commended for heroic actions on Candlewood Lake

Josh Carone, of Ridgefield, Alicia Nicoletti of Danbury, and Bayley Storrier, of Wilton, were honored for heroism. — Contributed photo
Josh Carone, of Ridgefield, Alicia Nicoletti of Danbury, and Bayley Storrier, of Wilton, were honored for heroism. — Contributed photo

Bayley Storrier of Wilton was honored at the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s (DEEP) Environmental Conservation Police annual awards ceremony on May 24 for her part in helping a woman involved in a boating accident at Candlewood Lake. A senior at Wooster School in Danbury, she was joined at the ceremony by schoolmate Alicia Nicoletti of Danbury, Class of 2020, and Wooster alumnus Josh Carone of Ridgefield, Class of 2018. 

The event took place on June 19, 2018, according to DEEP, when Environmental Conservation Police were dispatched to Candlewood Lake in New Fairfield for a report of a man and woman being pulled from the water. Bayley, Alicia, and Josh were aboard a boat in the area when they noticed another boat’s passengers crossing their arms to form an “X” and yelling for help, which they immediately recognized as a distress signal.

They made their way to the other boat and were told a woman was in the water who was unresponsive. Bayley and Josh jumped into the water to assist a man who was attempting to bring the unconscious female aboard his vessel. Once she was aboard, Alicia, Bayley, and Josh assessed her for vital signs and visible injuries. Alicia and Bayley provided CPR while Josh applied a makeshift tourniquet to control bleeding from the victim’s right arm. They continued to provide CPR until the New Fairfield Fire Department arrived. They remained with the victim until she was taken, via ambulance, to Danbury Hospital.

Bayley and Josh also provided detailed witness statements to DEEP EnCon Police assisting in a criminal investigation.

In recognition of their efforts, Alicia Nicoletti, Bayley Storrier, and Josh Carone were awarded the Lifesaving Award by Katherine S. Dykes, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
Criminal case
The woman who was pulled from the water was Waterbury teacher Wanda Tirado, 38, who was pronounced dead the following morning at the hospital. She had been struck by the propeller of the pontoon boat on which she had been riding.

According to the Danbury News-Times, Tirado's family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the pilot of the pontoon boat, Gary Morrone, 65, of Oakville, who also faces criminal charges related to the incident, including a charge of criminally negligent homicide. According State's Attorney Stephen J. Sedensky, Morrone has pleaded not guilty to the that charge and two others for first-degree reckless boating and failure to report a boating accident. He reportedly left the scene of the accident before emergency responders arrived.