GUILDERLAND, N.Y. – A 23-year-old man is under arrest and faces several charges after fleeing from police during an attempted traffic stop and causing a crash that sent another vehicle into a building – all while two children were in his car.
Just before 9 p.m. on Saturday, Guilderland Police attempted to stop a 2003 Mercury Mountaineer for vehicle and traffic infractions. The driver of the vehicle did not comply and fled northbound on Interstate 87. The Guilderland Police Department discontinued their efforts to stop the vehicle.
Seven minutes later, Colonie Police responded to a two vehicle crash on Central Avenue in front of the Colonie Center Mall.
According to authorities, the fleeing car exited the Northway eastbound on Route 5. The vehicle left the roadway, traveling eastbound in the decorative median in front of the mall. As the Mountaineer reentered the roadway, it struck a 2012 Volkswagen Jetta driving eastbound. The collision sent the Volkswagen into the side of the Regal Cleaners building located at 1410 Central Ave.
The driver of the 2003 Mercury Mountaineer, Joseph M. Brennan Jr., 23 of Albany was apprehended as he fled the scene on foot while carrying two children.
"He grabbed them and was just trying to get away from the scene so he could get away from what he had done which we had no idea what that was at that point," said Lt. John Archambault of Colonie PD.
The children, ages one and three, were occupants of Brennan's vehicle and under his supervision during the time of the crash.
The children, one of which is Brennan's biological son, were taken to Albany Medical Center by Colonie EMS for evaluation and released to their mother's care.
Brennan was charged with the two counts of the Vehicle and Traffic Law felony of 1192.2a(b) (Leandra's Law), Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs, Leaving the Scene of a Personal Injury Accident, Endangering the Welfare of a Child (2 counts), Criminal Possession of Marijuana and various vehicle and traffic infractions. Brennan faces charges in the Town of Guilderland as well. The Colonie Police Traffic Safety Unit continues to investigate the crash.
Anyone who witnessed the crash or has information regarding it is asked to contact the Colonie Police Traffic Safety Unit at 783-2744 or Sergeant Eric Batcheldor of the Guilderland Police Department at 356-1501.