New York State Police say they have arrested a 26-year-old man in connection with a collision that seriously injured two troopers early Sunday.
New York State Police Major Robert Patnaude says troopers Brent Karow and Shane Swartz were investigating a single car crash on Interstate 90 in North Greenbush at approximately 5:15 a.m. Sunday when a vehicle driven by Christopher Neumann struck their patrol car. The vehicle hit both troopers and tow truck operator, Jeffrey Waite Sr. Karow was thrown 70 feet into the median. Swartz and Waite were thrown under the tow truck.
Major Patnaude spoke Sunday afternoon on Spectrum News.
“We try to put them in the best position to keep them from getting hurt, it is an inherently dangerous job 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," said Patnaude.
Neumann, of Castleton, was charged with first degree vehicular assault, driving while intoxicated and numerous other vehicle and traffic law violations. All parties were transported to Albany Medical Center.
Karow is a six-year veteran of the state police and works out of Guilderland. Swartz has been a trooper for four years and works out of Brunswick. Both are 34. The troopers suffered multiple lacerations, fractures and internal injuries. On Monday morning, New York State Police Troop G spokesman Mark Cepiel said both troopers were in serious but stable condition in the surgical ICU at Albany Medical Center.
“They each have undergone surgeries up to this point, and will need to undergo further procedures as they move forward in their recovery," said Cepiel.
Waite, the tow truck driver, was admitted to Albany Med for observation. A second tow truck operator was hit by debris from the accident, treated and released. Neumann was treated for facial lacerations and released into State Police custody Sunday.
“They are going to have a big struggle to get back healthy and to get back to work. But, they are going to survive so we are lucky in that respect. You know we ask the public to pray for our troopers and to pray for a quick recovery and to be careful when they are driving," said Patnaude.
Neumann was arraigned Sunday afternoon in North Greenbush town court. He is being held at the Rensselaer County Jail without bail. His next court date is March 9.