Two New York State Police troopers injured on I-90

March 06, 2018 03:26 AM

NORTH GREENBUSH – Two troopers are recovering this morning at Albany Medical Center after getting struck by a vehicle while working at the scene of an I-90 accident. Both Trooper Brent Karow and Trooper Shane Swartz suffered multiple lacerations, factures and internal injuries – and both underwent hours of surgery, police say. They are listed in serious but stable condition. 

The suspected driver, Christopher Neumann, who was arraigned and held without bail, also allegedly hit a tow truck driver who was admitted for observation. The tow truck driver, Jeffrey Wait Sr., owns Wait’s Garage in Wynantskill. The garage posted on Facebook that, “Thankfully everyone is ok and on the road to recovery.” 

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It was early Sunday morning eastbound on I-90 in Rensselaer County, near exit 8. State Police say the frightening series of events began when the driver of a Suburu lost control of his car while talking on a cell phone and wound up in the snow covered median.

That's the initial incident to which State Police troopers Brent Karow and Shane Swartz responded.
"The vehicle was marked off. The lights were on. Flares were out. It was lit up like a Christmas tree. There's no reason why he shouldn't have seen it," said Maj. Robert Patnaude of the New York State Police.
The trooper's SUV was parked in the left lane, protecting the tow truck in front of it, and forcing oncoming traffic to move over into the right lanes. That's when Christopher Neumann reached the accident scene and proceeded to make matters much worse, State Police say.

"After striking the trooper car, Mr. Neumann's vehicle continued and struck both troopers and [tow truck driver] Mr. Waite," Patnaude said.

Trooper Karow was thrown approximately 70 feet into the median. Trooper Swartz was thrown and trapped underneath the tow truck. Both troopers and Jeffrey Waite Sr., who owns Wait’s Garage, are recovering at Albany Med.
And when State Police dispatch were unable to contact either trooper, other units rushed to the scene to check on their welfare.

"Further investigation resulted in the arrest of Mr. Neumann for vehicular assault, DWI, and numerous other vehicle and traffic violations," said Patnaude.

Patnaude asserts this chain of events is yet another reminder of the inherent danger is part of daily work.
"We try to put them in the best position to keep from getting hurt, it's an inherently dangerous job," he said. "We give them the vehicles with the lights, the vests, all the equipment we give them but you can't protect against everything. In a case like this they did everything right."

Neumann plead not guilty in North Greenbush town court on Sunday night. He was sent to the Rensselaer County jail without bail. His next court appearance is Friday.


WNYT Staff

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