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Fallen trooper's promotion announced as mourners gather for funeral

Fallen trooper's promotion announced as mourners gather for funeral

Trooper's car was rear-ended as he arrived at work
Fallen trooper's promotion announced as mourners gather for funeral
Trooper Jeremy VanNostrand's casket is carried into at St. Gabriel the Archangel Roman Catholic Church on Monday morning.
Photographer: Marc Schultz/Daily Gazette Photographer

ROTTERDAM -- As hundreds of police officers in dress uniforms honored the life of State Trooper Jeremy J. VanNostrand at his funeral on Monday, the state police superintendent announced the fallen trooper is being posthumously promoted to the rank of sergeant.

Superintendent George P. Beach II said during remarks at the funeral that VanNostrand recently took the test for sergeant and scored well enough that he likely would have risen in rank during the next round of promotions.

"Because of his hard work and dedication to his job, I am posthumously promoting Jeremy VanNostrand to the rank of sergeant," Beach told the mourners.


"I know this promotion is right -- well-deserved, earned by Jeremy himself -- and a way to honor him and his commitment to public service," he continued.

Monday's funeral took place at St. Gabriel the Archangel Roman Catholic Church and was attended by police officers from across New York and beyond; Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo also attended.

The funeral followed calling hours Sunday afternoon in VanNostrand's home town of Mayfield that drew law enforcement from across the region, as well as the public, to Mayfield Junior/Senior High school.

VanNostrand, 36, of Rotterdam, died as a result of injuries he suffered in a 7:45 a.m. crash outside the Fultonville state police barracks on Nov. 27. The crash happened as he waited in the westbound lane to make a left turn into the barracks parking lot to start his shift. A box truck struck his vehicle from behind, pushing it into oncoming traffic, where it was hit by a pickup truck.

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

Because VanNostrand was arriving at work when he was killed, state police consider it a "line of duty death."

"To all of Jeremy's family, there is little we can say to ease the pain of your loss," Beach said during the service. "I hope you can take comfort in knowing Jeremy served the people of our state with honor, and he will always be remembered as one of the state police family."

Beach noted that VanNostrand died doing something everyone can identify with -- arriving at work.

"As a police officer -- we accept the risks that come with this job. We respond to a call, we make the traffic stop, and sometimes we run toward danger rather than away from it," he said at the funeral, according to a transcript released by state police.

"But this wasn't a dangerous call or traffic stop, and Jeremy's death should hit home for each and every one of us," he said. "Each day we wake up -- we go to work. That is what Jeremy was doing."

The driver of the box truck, identified as Aaron M. Munsie, 32, of Amsterdam,  was not injured, state police said. The driver of the pickup truck, Robert E. Crews, 52, of Fort Plain, was taken to St. Mary's Hospital in Amsterdam for treatment of injuries.

The crash remains under investigation, Troop G. Major Robert Patenaude said. He said search warrants were issued so police could inspect the vehicles involved. Weather has been ruled out as a contributing factor.

VanNostrand, who was married and had a 6-year-old daughter, joined the state police in December 2012. Prior to becoming a trooper, VanNostrand served as a state correction officer and attended Fulton-Montgomery Community College in Johnstown.

A private burial with full state police honors followed Monday's funeral. VanNostrand was buried in Prospect Hill Cemetery in Guilderland.

Reach Daily Gazette reporter Stephen Williams at 518-395-3086, [email protected] or @gazettesteve on Twitter.

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