For Immediate Release Contact: Christopher Borek
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
District Attorney Hoovler Declines to File Criminal Charges in
Crawford Officer-Involved Automobile Incident
Motorist Killed During Police Pursuit
No Criminal Conduct Found on the Part of the Officer
Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced on Tuesday, January 23, 2018, that his office would not be filing criminal charges in connection with an incident in which a motorist was killed in a Town of Crawford police pursuit. Any possible administrative action will be taken by the Crawford Police Department.
On December 5, 2017, at approximately 9:50 a.m., a Crawford police officer observed the operator of a Buick commit a traffic infraction on State Route 17K, and tried to pull the Buick over. Instead of pulling over, the Buick fled, and the police car gave chase, with its lights and siren operating. As other traffic tried to pull over to get out of the way of the police car, the Buick passed a third vehicle on the shoulder, as the police vehicle passed on the third vehicle’s left. As the pursuit went around a curve in the roadway, the Buick, due to its excessive speed, crossed over into the opposite lane of traffic and struck an oncoming pickup head-on.
The driver of the Buick was pronounced dead at the scene. The operator of the pickup was airlifted to Westchester Medical Center after complaining of pain in his hip.
The police investigation of the incident later revealed that the deceased driver of the Buick was the subject of a felony arrest warrant involving charges of criminal contempt and criminal mischief, a warrant that had been issued in a case involving a domestic incident in the Town of Montgomery.
District Attorney Hoovler thanked the Town of Crawford Police Department, the involved officer, and several witnesses for their cooperation in the investigation. In addition, the District Attorney thanked the New York State Police for conducting the investigation.
“All of us are entitled to be safe on our roadways,” said District Attorney Hoovler, “and police officers’ enforcement of the traffic laws is an essential part of that safety. When motorists violate the traffic laws, and, more importantly, when they flee from officers who are doing their duty, they put all of us at risk. This case illustrates just how dangerous fleeing from police officers on the roadways can be, for those who flee, and for those innocent operators who are unfortunate enough to be nearby.”