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What you need to know for 07/21/2017

Police: 21-mile chase ends in fatal Rotterdam wreck

Police: 21-mile chase ends in fatal Rotterdam wreck

2 troopers injured
Police: 21-mile chase ends in fatal Rotterdam wreck
Emmanuel Humphreys, 36, died after he crashed into a dump truck on Route 7 about 1 a.m. Sunday.
Photographer: PETER R. BARBER

A Richmondville man died and two state troopers were injured following a high-speed car chase early Sunday morning that started in Schoharie County and ended in Rotterdam.

Emmanuel Humphreys, 36, died after he veered into a dump truck on Route 7 about 1 a.m. Sunday, ending a 21-mile chase. Humphreys had been making suicidal comments during the chase, New York State Police Captain Robert Patnaude said during a news conference Sunday afternoon at Troop G headquarters in Latham.

Police responded about 11 p.m. Saturday to a call for a domestic dispute at 119 Leland Lane in Richmondville in Schoharie County. Humphreys had already left when police arrived, but troopers found him and pulled him over near the intersection of routes 30A and 7.

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One trooper approached Humphreys’ car and began interviewing him. Humphreys then sped off, running over the trooper’s foot and prompting a high-speed chase.

Three state trooper vehicles and two Schenectady County Sheriff’s Office vehicles pursued Humphreys for about 21 miles, police said, with speeds reaching up to 80 mph.

During the chase, police said, Humphreys called his girlfriend back at the house, where a trooper was still stationed and was able to listen to the conversation. Humphreys was making suicidal comments, saying he was looking for something large enough to crash into to take his own life, police said.

That information was relayed to officers in pursuit, who made multiple unsuccessful attempts to box in or stop Humphreys’ vehicle. Police tried to lay down spike strips in two different places, but Humphreys sped past the intersections before it could be done, Patnaude said.

Near the intersection of Route 7 and Burdeck Street in Rotterdam, Humphreys spotted a dump truck hauling snow and turned into it. His vehicle bounced off the truck, into a trooper car and then split in two, with one piece striking a fourth car.

Humphreys was pronounced dead at the scene. The dump truck driver and the woman in the passing car on Route 7 were uninjured.

Trooper Joshua Udell had his right foot run over during the traffic stop. Trooper Jason Cintula was struck in the crash, sustaining injuries to his chest, wrist and back, police said.

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Both were taken to Ellis Hospital and released, though police said they’d be out of work for an undetermined amount of time.

An autopsy on Humphreys is scheduled for Monday, at which point police can determine if drugs or alcohol was a factor.

“It’s unfortunate, and fortunate, how it went down,” Patnaude said. “It’s unfortunate he died, but fortunate he didn’t take anybody else with him.”

Route 7 in Rotterdam was closed between Burdeck Street and Antonia Drive until early Sunday afternoon as crews spent hours cleaning up the aftermath of the wreck. Police remained on the scene until shortly after 1 p.m., when the road was reopened. 

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