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NYS Police identify driver and officers struck in related crash

RENSSELAER, N.Y. (NEWS10) - At 4:00 a.m., Sunday morning, NYS Troopers Brent Karow and Shane Swartz responded to a single vehicle property damage crash on Interstate 90 eastbound (highway portion extending NYS Thruway after Albany) near Exit 8 in the town of North Greenbush, Rensselaer County. The officers traveled in the same marked patrol vehicle.

At 4:21 AM they called out to dispatch requesting a tow truck to remove a 2011 Subaru from the median along the highway. The tow truck arrived at the scene to assist in removing the vehicle from the median.

Officers placed flares at the scene, closing the left lane of three lanes of the highway, as well as providing emergency lightning from the patrol car and tow truck.

Shortly after 5:00 a.m., Rensselaer County 911 received multiple calls regarding a crash involving a police vehicle on Interstate 90 at the same location. NY State Police dispatch was unable to make contact with the Troopers and other units were sent to check on the officers’ status.

The town of North Greenbush Police Department immediately responded and were the first on the scene, including other assisting State Police units began arriving on scene within minutes, along with multiple EMS and FIRE units.

When they arrived they found the injured Troopers and tow truck operators. Both Troopers, one of the tow truck operators (Jeffery Waite Sr.), and the person who caused this crash were then transported to Albany Medical Center.

Following an immediate investigation, a 2010 Mercury sedan operated by Christopher Neumann, 26, of Castleton, failed to move to the right and collided with the patrol vehicle. Upon hitting the troopers’ car, Neumann’s vehicle continued and struck both Troopers and Mr. Waite.

Trooper Karow was thrown approximately 70 feet into the median. Trooper Swartz was thrown and trapped underneath the tow truck. Both tow truck operators were also injured. Waite was also struck by the vehicle, and the other tow truck operator by flying debris. Neumann, was also injured in the crash.

The result was the arrest of Neumann for vehicular assault, driving while intoxicated, and numerous other vehicle and traffic violations. He is currently in NYS Police custody and will be arraigned later today.

The following injuries were sustained by each person involved in the accident:

Trooper Karow suffered multiple lacerations, fractures and internal injuries and is listed in serious but stable condition after surgery to control internal bleeding. He is currently in ICU.

Trooper Swartz suffered multiple lacerations, fractures and internal injuries and is listed in serious but stable condition. He is undergoing surgery at this time that is expected to take 6-7 hours.

Tow truck operator Jeffrey Waite Sr suffered a laceration to his head and was admitted.

Neumann suffered a laceration on his face and other minor injuries and was treated and released.

Trooper Karow, 34, is a 6 year veteran of the NYS Police and works out of Guilderland barracks.

Trooper Swartz, 34, is a 4 year veteran of the NYS Police and works out of Brunswick barracks.

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