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24 September 2018
Update: State Police investigate fatal crash on I-87 in Schroon
NEW YORK STATE POLICE
Major Darrin S. Pitkin
Troop B Commander
Update: On September 24, 2018, an autopsy was conducted on Clark at the University of Vermont Medical Center at the Champlain Valley Physician’s Hospital in Plattsburgh. Doctor Eric Gorman determined the cause of death to be blunt force trauma due to a motor vehicle collision. Essex County Coroner Francis Whitelaw ruled the manner of death as suicide.
Original release: On September 23, 2018, at approximately 11:07 am, Troopers observed a 2008 Pontiac G6, southbound on I-87. The operator of the vehicle, Desmond J. Clark, 28, of Plattsburgh, was wanted for questioning regarding an earlier armed robbery in Keeseville. When Troopers initiated a traffic stop, Clark failed to pull over and continued south on I-87. A pursuit was initiated at approximately 11:19 a.m.
Around mile post marker 85, the suspect vehicle exited the southbound lane, crossed the median, and continued southbound in the northbound lane, eventually striking a 2011 GMC Sierra pickup truck head-on. The truck was operated by Curtis E. Smith, 52, with front seat passenger Linda M. Hutti, 57, both of Peru. Smith was transported to Glens Falls Hospital with back and leg injuries. Hutti was also transported to Glens Falls Hospital with a back injury. Both Smith and Hutti were later transported to the Albany Medical Center for further treatment.
Clark was pronounced deceased at the scene, at 12:45 p.m., by Essex County Coroner Francis Whitelaw, who authorized removal to University of Vermont Medical Center at the Champlain Valley Physician’s Hospital in Plattsburgh for autopsy to be completed at a later time.
State Police have been assisted by the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office, Plattsburgh City Police Department and the Essex County Sheriff’s Office.
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