ROTTERDAM, N.Y. -- A fundraiser dinner will be held Friday night for the family of a fallen trooper.
Trooper David Cunniff was killed in December after his patrol vehicle was struck by a tractor trailer on I-90 in Amsterdam. The officer had a person pulled over for speeding at the time of the accident.
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 driver of the other vehicle had to be extricated by the Amsterdam Fire Department.
"To lose him at 35 is incredibly hard, but to see the amount of lives he touched and the people he impacted, it makes me want to love more purposeful every day, and I want to raise my boys to be like their dad," said his wife, Amy Cunniff.
Cunniff was a nine-year State Police veteran. He left behind his six-year-old son Caleb and four-year-old Zach.
"Dave was just an amazing hands-on dad, and they're struggling; I'm struggling," Amy continued. "I hold it together. I get up in the morning and hit the ground running with the boy's therapy schedule, and that's how it was before the accident. I try to keep things as consistent as possible, but bedtime, you know, usually daddy comes up in conversation."
Amy said that although she continues to grieve, she is amazed at the love and support she has received.
Dozens of volunteers have come together for the pasta fundraiser because nearly 500 tickets have already been sold.
Trooper Nick Marano organized the dinner.
"Dave made everyone a better man that met him, so we just want to give that love back to her and help her out as best as we can and show her we're here for her," he said.
Amy said all the help she has received has been very encouraging.
"It's a great way for me just to be able to say thank you because there is no way I can possibly know everybody who I need to thank," she said.
The pasta dinner is at 4 p.m. at the Rotterdam Elks Lodge. Tickets are $10 which will include a pasta dinner for dine-in or takeout. There will also be a 50/50 raffle. Long sleeve and short sleeve t-shirts will also be available to purchase.
Tickets can be purchased at the Carman Fire Department on Hamburg Street.