A state police trooper died today after police say he was intentionally hit by a passing vehicle during a traffic stop in Broome County.
Christopher G. Skinner, a Binghamton native whose 13-year tenure included a stint in the Capital Region, was killed instantly. He was outside his marked state police car around noon conducting a traffic stop on Interstate 81 north of Exit 6 between Chenango Bridge and Castle Creek when the vehicle struck him.
The driver — 60-year-old Almond Upton of Melrose, Florida — has been charged with one count of first-degree murder. State police say that just after noon, Upton intentionally hit two cars driving north on I-81. The driver in one of those cars sustained minor injuries and was treated at Wilson Hospital.
After traveling about a mile, police say Upton spotted Skinner conducting a traffic stop and traveled from the passing lane to the driving lane to intentionally strike him and sideswipe the car he had stopped.
He continued a short distance before stopping and running into nearby woods. Following a search, Upton was taken into custody and was sent to the Broome County Jail with no bail after 1 p.m. An investigation is continuing.
Skinner was 42. During his tenure with state police, he worked in Troops C, E and G. He was assigned to the Troop C Traffic Incident Management Unit detail in June 2008, serving Delaware County.
He is survived by his mother, Sharyn; brother, Shawn; fiance, Surrena and two children, Kyle, 15 and Erin, 12.
Funeral arrangements are being made.
In a news release, state police thanked the Broome County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Marshal's Service, Castle Creek Fire Department and other federal and local first responders for their assistance.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a statement following the news: “Trooper Skinner selflessly dedicated 13 years of his life to the New York State Police, and his actions have impacted the lives of many. His commitment to the people of this state is commendable and will no doubt be remembered for years to come. On behalf of all New Yorkers, I offer my condolences to his friends and family, and express my deepest gratitude for Trooper Skinner’s service.”