LATHAM, N.Y. – The funeral services for New York State Trooper
David Cunniff who died following a Monday night car accident on the Thruway
were held Friday morning.
The service began at 11 a.m. at Grace Fellowship Church, where
Cunniff was a member and a guitar player in the worship band.
The family stood outside the church as Trooper Cunniff's body
arrived at the church Friday morning, his two sons wearing Stetsons to honor
their fallen hero. New York State police and other law enforcement agencies
stood in formation as the funeral began. Governor Cuomo also arrived, standing
in the front row with state police from Troop T, where Trooper Cunniff was
State Police said up to 1,500 troopers from New York and across
the country --as far as California and Washington State -- came to pay their
Trooper Andrew Matthews with the Connecticut State Police said "We
are a family so it affects all of us. We are all doing a dangerous job. We
should all come together and support one another. "
Trooper Matthews was one of many who came to Latham to
pay respects as Trooper Cunniff was laid to rest on Friday.
"As far as the family is concerned this is an accident. They
want the truck driver and other victim of the accident to understand that this
was an accident as far as they see. The only thing they want everyone involved
is for everyone to move forward with the family and heal together," said
the church's pastor, Tim Owens.
Cunniff's wife, Amy, explained in a letter that was read aloud
that when they found out their oldest son Caleb had a rare disorder called
Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Cunniff became determined to help find a cure. So far,
the family has helped to raise $52,000.
The burial immediately followed the service, his final resting
place at the Memory Gardens Cemetery in Colonie.
Cunniff, 35, was a 9-year-veteran of the New York State Police.
Cunniff's patrol car was parked as he conducted a traffic stop
December 16 on the Thruway. His vehicle and the car driven by Eric Heller were
struck by a tractor trailer driven by 65-year-old Gary Blakley of Ridgeway,
The tractor trailer was travelling in the right lane, left the
roadway and hit both cars. The impact forced Trooper Cunniff's car off the
right shoulder and partially ejected him from the vehicle. The tractor trailer
continued on and struck Heller's car trapping Heller in his vehicle. Heller had
to be extricated by the Amsterdam Fire Department.
Heller, 57, of Stoney Creek was transported to Albany Medical
Center for his injuries. He is in fair condition. Cunniff was taken to Albany
Medical Center where he later died. Blakley was not injured in the crash.
Blakley will likely face charges for having an out-of-date log
book and could possibly be charged under the state's "Move Over" Law.
Police said alcohol and weather did not factor into the crash.
Hundreds of people, including family, friends and men and women in
uniform, attended Cunniff's calling hours on Thursday to not only mourn his
passing but to celebrate his life.
Sgt. Brian Zennie of Pennsylvania State Police said,
"It's a reality that sets in for all of us. You get up that morning and
you know that could be you one of your guys at your station at any given
Cunniff is survived by his wife and two children. A fund has been
set up to benefit the family. Include "The Family of David Cunniff"
in the donation submission, here.
Local News <a href="http://www.wten.com/category/173731/-local-news">More>></a>Local NewsMore>>
ALBANY, N.Y.—Thursday, April 17, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Nature Conservancy are promoting a #NatureSelfie photo project. The point of the project is to get people outside on and aroundMore >>
Thursday, April 17, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Nature Conservancy are promoting a #NatureSelfie photo project.More >>
HUDSON FALLS, N.Y. - An Army National Guard recruiter recently arrested on rape charges faces new charges in Glens Falls. Robert Haas, 35, of Hudson Falls is accused of assaulting the victim earlier thisMore >>
A former Army National Guard recruiter recently arrested on rape charges faces new charges in Glens Falls.More >>
EAST GREENBUSH, N.Y.—Two Columbia County men were arrested Friday after stealing video game components. The two men stole the video game components from one store, then proceeded to a different store nearbyMore >>
Two Columbia County men were arrested Friday after stealing video game components.More >>
ALBANY, N.Y.—National Grid is kicking off its enhanced recycling program in a new way this year. Upstate New Yorkers can receive up to $100 by recycling old refrigerators and freezers. "The program givesMore >>
National Grid is kicking off its enhanced recycling program in a new way this year.More >>
ALBANY, N.Y.—Over a twelve month period ending in March, the state's private sector job count has increased by 1.5 percent. The New York State economy has added 436,700 private sector jobs since the beginningMore >>
Over a twelve month period ending in March, the state's private sector job count has increased by 1.5 percent.More >>
GUILDERLAND, N.Y. – One local library has added to the growing list of items available for borrowing, with fishing poles now on loan. Visitors can now borrow like the poles just like already availableMore >>
One local library has added to the growing list of items available for borrowing, with fishing poles now on loan.More >>
SCHENECTADY, N.Y. -- A parade will be held Thursday for Union College's men's hockey team, in celebration of their national championship win. The parade will begin at 4 p.m. in front of Alumni Gym onMore >>
A parade will be held Thursday for Union College's men's hockey team, in celebration of their national championship win.More >>
SCHENECTADY, N.Y. -- Price Chopper Supermarkets is issuing a voluntary recall on its Price Chopper Brand Tuscan White Bean Hummus. The product is being recalled due to it being mislabeled with the ingredientMore >>
Price Chopper Supermarkets is issuing a voluntary recall on its Price Chopper Brand Tuscan White Bean Hummus.More >>
ALBANY, N.Y.—Nearly 88,000 jobs are currently available and listed on the Jobs Express website. The website sorts thousands of jobs by region and occupation, while also allowing users to search jobs basedMore >>
Nearly 88,000 jobs are currently available and listed on the Jobs Express website.More >>