Trooper recovers from minor injuries after accident ties up Nort - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Trooper recovers from minor injuries after accident ties up Northway traffic


WILTON, N.Y. – New York State Police say that one Trooper was injured on Tuesday afternoon on the Northway.

According to authorities, Trooper Gary Strothenke was parked off the right shoulder of I-87 southbound while he was assisting a disabled motorist.

Rachel Palmer, the driver of the disabled vehicle, was sitting in her friend's vehicle as her friend, Adam Geleta, tried to change the tire on Palmer's car. Trooper Strothenke was seated in his car with his emergency lights on, behind the vehicles.

NYS Police say a flatbed tow truck registered to AAA Northway was driving towards the three vehicles on the Northway shortly before 4 p.m. The driver, Berakah Smith, allegedly drifted towards the right shoulder, causing the truck to sideswipe the Trooper's car.

Smith lost control of the truck and struck Palmer's vehicle, according to authorities. Geleta was able to move away from the vehicle before it was struck by Smith.

Troopers say Smith's truck continued off of the roadway, down an embankment, and into a wooded area where it came to rest.

Trooper Strothenke was transported to Saratoga Hospital where he was treated and released with minor injuries.

Smith was also treated for minor injuries before being arraigned on vehicle and traffic law charges in the Town of Wilton Court. He was released on his own recognizance.

Palmer and Geleta were not injured during the accident.

Police say the cause of the accident is under investigation.

The two right lanes on I-87 Southbound between Exits 16 and 15 are closed Tuesday evening. All lanes were reopened shortly before 10 p.m.

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