Updated: November 28, 2019 11:38 AM
Created: November 27, 2019 06:38 PM
A portion of Route 5S that runs through the town of Glen past the New York State Police barracks in Fonda was renamed the "Sgt. Jeremy J. VanNostrand Memorial Highway" in Montgomery County on Wednesday morning, on the one-year anniversary of Sgt. VanNostrand's tragic death. New York State Police also confirmed to NewsChannel 13 they have not ruled out distracted driving in the chain reaction crash that claimed the life of the 36-year-old Sgt. VanNostrand.
A Ryder moving truck rear ended VanNostrand's personal vehicle as he was about to pull into the barracks and report to work. That box truck's driver, Aaron Munsie of Amsterdam, was not hurt. The driver of a pick-up truck VanNostrand's car crashed into, coming from the opposite direction of the roadway was treated and released from the hospital.
The case remains open and an official cause of the crash remains unclear along with whether charges may be filed. NYSP Captain Daniel Larkin confirms NYSP have not ruled out distracted driving.
Over the last year, local lawmakers including Senator George Amedore and Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara have worked to rename part of the highway in honor of the late trooper. The New York State Department of Transportation installed a pair of signs bearing the late trooper's name.
Captain Larkin was Sgt. VanNostrand's Zone Commander. Larkin describes VanNostrand as an energetic, enthusiastic, and a highly motivated trooper who worked tirelessly for the people of New York State for six years.
"He made more arrests than nearly anyone in the entire zone and wrote more traffic tickets," Captain Larkin told NewsChannel 13 which contributed to keeping the community in which he served safe.
"He always kept us on our toes. Very bright and would challenge his peers on the law, interpretation of the law," Captain Larkin added.
Captain Larkin says the case remains under investigation. No charges have been filed to date, but Larkin reiterated about the crash, "It was preventable, there is no question about it, as are most traffic collisions."
One year later, new signage was unveiled outside the State Police Barracks in Fonda to Sgt. VanNostrand's grieving widow. Many state officials reminding the late trooper's family - including his young daughter, brothers and parents - they are thinking of them and will do everything they can to keep his memory and legacy alive.
Sgt. VanNostrand was stopped in the westbound lane of Route 5S in his own vehicle, when a Ryder truck driven by Aaron Munsie of Amsterdam rear ended the trooper's personal vehicle before he was fatally struck by a pick-up coming from the opposite direction.
"Most of them are caused by driver behavior and this was avoidable and that makes it all the more tragic," Captain Larkin stated.
Major Robert Patnaude the Troop G Commander previously announced, "It was 100-percent preventable. We believe it was due to driver inattention. We'd like people to focus on driving when they're driving."
A somber reminder this time of year, with the holidays here and Sgt. VanNostrand's family missing a husband, father, son, brother, friend and policeman.
Larkin reminded, "Pay attention, avoid the distractions, going to holidays get there safely for everyone's sake."
NewsChannel 13 has not been successful trying to track down the driver of the Ryder truck, Aaron Munsie of Amsterdam.
NewsChannel 13 is waiting to hear back from Ryder's corporate communications office and the district attorney in Montgomery County.
"As you may know, much of Ryder’s business is renting and leasing commercial trucks to third-parties and our rental and leased vehicles often contain our corporate logo on the vehicle." -Amy Federman Vice President – Corporate Communications
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