New details revealed as council set to approve settlement in Troy Police crash

NewsChannel 13 is working to learn more about the firing of the police officer in Troy involved in a fatal crash last year.

A delivery driver lost his life in the crash on Hoosick Street in February of 2023.

The Troy Mayor’s Office said the officer was let go yesterday because the Department of Motor Vehicles had revoked his driver’s license, and he no longer met the department’s basic requirements. Thursday, the city council is set to approve a multi-million dollar settlement for the family of the man who died.

Former Troy Police Officer Justin Byrnes was responding to a 911 call for a domestic disturbance, when his police SUV collided with another car in February of 2023.

30-year-old Sabeeh Alalkawi, a father who was working as a delivery driver, died in the crash. Byrnes had minor injuries.

The New York State Police crash report explained what happened in the early morning hours of February 22, 2023. It said Byrnes was driving nearly 90 miles an hour in a 30 mile per hour zone through a red light about five seconds before the crash. It said he stepped on the brakes and was doing around 65 miles per hour when his cruiser slammed into Alalkawi’s Honda Civic headed across the intersection of 15th and Hoosick Streets.

The report faulted Byrnes for lack of caution when going through the red light.

The City of Troy will pay nearly $5.8 million to settle a lawsuit related to the crash. The settlement is expected to be approved by the council at its meeting Thursday.

The lawsuit was filed back in October on behalf of Alalkawi’s family.

The family’s attorney, Joseph O’Connor, said in part, “The family is glad to finally put this chapter behind them. This has understandably been a difficult time in their lives, and we are glad we were able to resolve the lawsuit civilly.”

Troy Police said Wednesday that they could not comment on the officer’s termination. The New York State Attorney General’s Office confirmed it was still investigating the matter.

Mayor Carmella Mantello said in part, “I am grateful that we were able to reach a resolution on this tragic episode. My condolences go out to the Alalkawi family and those impacted by the incident.”