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New York State Trooper killed in Montgomery County crash

New York State Trooper killed in Montgomery County crash

He was a six-year veteran of the state police
New York State Trooper killed in Montgomery County crash
Trooper Jeremy J. VanNostrand
Photographer: New York State Police

TOWN OF GLEN -- A state trooper waiting to turn in to the state police barracks iTuesday morning died after his vehicle was hit from behind, state police said.

State police early Tuesday afternoon identified the trooper as Jeremy J. VanNostrand, 36, a six-year veteran of the department.

At his graduation ceremony in 2013, he was listed as being from Schenectady. He was a resident of Schenectady County, where he lived with his wife and 6-year-old daughter, state police said.

The crash happened at about 7:45 a.m. near the Route 5S barracks as VanNostrand was arriving for work in his personal vehicle, a Nissan Altima, state police said. He was stopped in the westbound lane, waiting to turn in to the station when he was rear-ended by a box truck and pushed into the oncoming lane, state police said. VanNostrand was then hit by a pickup truck that was headed east.

VanNostrand was taken to Albany Medical Center, where he died of his injuries, state police said.

The driver of the box truck was not injured, state police said. The driver of the pickup truck was taken to St. Mary's Hospital in Amsterdam with injuries believed to be non-life-threatening.

State police identified the box truck driver as Aaron M. Munsie, 32, of Amsterdam, and the pickup truck driver as Robert E. Crews, 52, of Fort Plain.

No tickets had been issued as of Tuesday afternoon.

"We don't know what caused this accident yet," state police Major Robert Patnaude told reporters at a Tuesday afternoon press conference. "Was it speed? Was it driver inattention? Was it a vehicle malfunction? We don't know."

State police, however, later said weather does not appear to have been a factor in the crash. The investigation continued Tuesday afternoon.

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VanNostrand graduated from the New York State Police academy in May 2013, part of the academy's 199th session. He was previously assigned to Troop F at Middletown and Liberty before moving to the Capital Region troop, Troop G at Granville. His latest assignment was the Fonda barracks, located in Glen.

Patnaude said he didn't know VanNostrand personally, but, from what he's learned, VanNostrand was an "outstanding trooper, a very aggressive, hardworking kid."

VanNostrand was "the kind of trooper we like on the road, and the public should like out there on the road -- out there stopping cars, talking to people, doing excellent investigations, good interdiction work. He'll be sorely missed," Patnaude said.

Prior to becoming a trooper, VanNostrand served as a state correction officer for eight years, state police said.

Tuesday afternoon's press conference:

"Trooper VanNostrand served the people of the state of New York with pride and professionalism. He made the ultimate sacrifice, and he will never be forgotten," said New York State Troopers PBA President Thomas H. Mungeer in a prepared statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and co-workers of Trooper VanNostrand during this difficult time.”

Because VanNostrand was en route to work when the crash happened, his death is formally considered a line-of-duty death, state police said.

In response to VanNostrand's death, Gov. Andrew M. Coumo Tuesday directed flags flown at half-staff Wednesday.

"The family of New York grieves for Trooper Jeremy VanNostrand," Cuomo said in a statement.

Two other state troopers have died in traffic accidents locally in recent years. Trooper Timothy P. Pratt, 55, of Glens Falls, died Oct. 26, 2016, in Wilton -- also near a state police barracks. Three years earlier, on Dec. 17, 2013,Trooper David Cunniff died when his trooper car was struck by a tractor-trailer during a Thruway traffic stop.

VanNostrand's death also follows others in the state police statewide this year. Trooper Michael J. Anson died from a 9/11-related illness Jan. 2; retired Sgt./SC Charles R. Salaway died June 9, also from a 9/11-related illness, and Trooper Nicholas F. Clark was shot and killed in the line of duty by a suicidal man July 2 in Steuben County.

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