Joseph Rogers had a rude awakening Tuesday afternoon.
The 37-year-old Watervliet man apparently dozed off behind the wheel of his Black and White cab as he was driving north on Chapel Street near Steuben Street around 2 p.m. Moments later, his Mercury sedan hopped the curb, nearly struck a pedestrian on the sidewalk and then crashed into the rear of the Albany County Judicial Center.
“It kind of hit the building and careened into the sprinkler system,” county Sheriff Craig Apple said.
Rogers later told deputies at the court he had little sleep the previous evening and was at a point of exhaustion. He told investigators he had dropped a passenger off just prior to the crash and was about to ask if he could leave work early when he apparently fell asleep.
No injuries resulted from the crash, Apple said, but Rogers was ticketed for failing to keep right and will answer the charge in Albany City Court.
“When you think of dangerous driving habits, you may think of distracted driving, such as texting and driving, which has received a lot of attention in the media lately,” Apple said. “Driver fatigue is a danger that also exists and is often overlooked. When driving, you need to be alert to react, so adequate rest is the key.”
Despite the crash, the court continued its normal afternoon schedule. Both the building and vehicle sustained substantial damage, according to investigators.
Lee Kindlon, a defense attorney with an office down the street, was walking by the crash when the citizen journalist within him captured the bizarre moment on Twitter. Though he didn’t capture a picture of the crash, he managed to sum up the strange occurrence for his followers.
“A cab driver just fell asleep and crashed his cab into Albany County Court,” he posted after the crash. “So ... that happened.”