March 19, 2017- Latham, NY
In the early minutes of March 19, 2017 a 2010 Honda vehicle operated by Emmanuel C. Humphreys, 36, of Richmondville veered intentionally into the opposite lane of travel on State Route 7 in the Town of Rotterdam, struck a dump truck, crossed back into the initial lane of travel where it was struck by a state police vehicle and then split in two, with one section striking a passing vehicle.
Humphreys, the operator of the 2010 Honda, was pronounced deceased at the scene.
The crash occurred as Humphreys was being pursued by Troopers and Sheriff’s Deputies over a 21 mile distance which lasted approximately 15 minutes and reached speeds of 80 miles per hour. During the pursuit Humphreys made comments by phone that he was looking to kill himself and was attempting to find another vehicle large enough to strike with that purpose in mind.
The incident began at approximately 10:55 pm on March 18th when troopers received a report of a domestic incident in Richmondville. The report was that Humphreys had physically assaulted his girlfriend but fled the scene prior to troopers responding to that scene. A responding trooper interviewed the victim and broadcasted relevant information for other patrols in the area.
A nearby trooper spotted the 2010 Honda and conducted a traffic stop at the intersection of State Route 7 and State Route 30A. A second trooper, Trooper Joshua Udell, arrived to assist in the traffic stop. As the first trooper was in radio contact to ascertain potential charges Trooper Udell approached Humphreys and began to interview him. During the interview Humphreys accelerated his vehicle to flee the scene, running over the trooper’s right foot, causing minor injury.
Both troopers initiated a pursuit of Humphreys and were eventually joined by a third trooper and 2 Sheriff’s Deputies.
During the pursuit Humphreys made cell phone contact with his girlfriend, the victim, and informed her via phone that he is looking for a large vehicle to strike in order to end his own life. The conversation was heard at the scene of the domestic incident by the trooper who had responded to interview the victim, and he informed the dispatch point and Sergeant monitoring the incident, allowing the troopers involved in pursuing him to be aware of his intentions. Several attempts were made to stop Humphreys with possible use of spike strips and boxing his vehicle in with police vehicles, all were unsuccessful.
While on Route 7 traveling eastbound, Humphreys abruptly veered into the westbound lane, colliding head on with a 1999 Volvo dump truck. The Honda then deflected back into the eastbound lane and into the path of Trooper Jason Cintula’s trooper vehicle. The Honda then split in two, with one portion traveling back into the westbound lane where it collided with a 2001 Toyota Rav 4.
Neither the operator of the dump truck or Rav 4 were injured. Trooper Cintula sustained back and chest contusions and Trooper Udell sustained a contusion to his right foot. Both were treated at Ellis Hospital and released.
An autopsy is scheduled for March 20th to determine cause of death for Humphreys.
State Route 7 in Rotterdam between Antonia and Rosoli Road was closed until 1:18 pm on March 19th in order to investigate and clear the scene of the crash.
The totality of the incident is still under investigation by various members and units of the State Police and at this time Captain Robert Patnaude, Acting Troop G Commander, feels that all of the police personal involved acted accordingly in attempt to prevent Humphreys from taking his own life or the lives of others.