Man hits, kills bicyclist while evading traffic stop - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Man hits, kills bicyclist while evading traffic stop

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COLONIE, N.Y. – Officers have arrested a man after he struck and killed a bicyclist in his attempt to evade a traffic stop. 

The high speed chase lasted around 18 minutes beginning in Colonie going into Albany, Schenectady, Niskayuna and ending in the Town of Rotterdam.

An Albany County Sheriff's investigator noticed a white pick up truck speeding and swerving on Central Avenue early Saturday morning as he was on the look out for drunk drivers. But when he attempted to make the traffic stop that's when things spiraled out of control.

According to police, 39-year-old Pablo Cruz of Schenectady fled into Albany going more than 90 miles per hour when he struck 45-year-old Paul Merges of Albany while riding his bike.

"The investigator saw the bike go flying but wasn't aware, didn't know where the bicyclist had been," said Sheriff Craig Apple.

Apply says Merges was hit head on and became pinned to the ladder rack of the truck. Cruz then continued fleeing.

"Colonie had a road block set on Central for him. He caught it, he shot through the K-Mart parking lot, caught State Street took off again at a high rate of speed," said Sheriff Apple.

With more than seven agencies assisting, the high speed chase continued on into Niskayuna and Schenectady.

"He was recently out released from prison November 2nd so he probably knew he was heading back and on top of it he had just killed somebody," said Apple.

The dangerous pursuit ended in the Town of Rotterdam when Cruz's truck engine blew.

Frank Smith woke up to sirens and what he says was a horrific scene outside his home off Curry Road.

"It's sad especially this time of the season. I really feel bad for his family," said Smith.

According to Sheriff Apple a highly intoxicated Cruz fought with officers and had to be tazed twice before he was brought to Albany Medical Center.

Cruz is charged with Felony Manslaughter, Felony Vehicular Manslaughter, DWI, and Parole Violation. He remains in Albany County Jail without bail.

"Anybody in that neighborhood that happened to see the final result of this chase, I don't think they're going to get in a car and have a drink," said Apple.

The Albany County Sheriff's Office says more charges could follow for Cruz, including reckless endangerment. Sheriff Apple says Cruz could face 20 to 25 years in jail.

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