Officer down: New York State Trooper dies three years after being hit by vehicle while on duty

NEW YORK– On March 26, 2021, a New York State Trooper died, three years after he was struck by a vehicle while on Duty in December 2017.

On Saturday, March 27th, acting Superintendent, Kevin P. Bruen made the announcement. 

According to original reports, on December 18, 2017, 35-year-old New York State Trooper Joseph Gallagher was assisting a disabled motorist on the overpass from the westbound Long Island Expressway to southbound Sagtikos Parkway around 2:30 p.m. when he was struck by another vehicle.

Trooper Gallagher was taken to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, where he underwent surgery for head injuries. Following his surgery, he was listed in serious condition. 

It was reported that the motorist who struck Trooper Gallagher stopped and stayed at the scene. 

Trooper Gallagher was born in South Buffalo and went to Bishop Timon High School. He joined the state police in 2014, and was previously assigned to Troop F and Troop T and was last assigned to SP Brentwood. He is survived by his wife, two children, parents, sister and brothers, ABC7 reported.

Trooper Gallagher was not the only New York State Trooper to lose his life due to a motor vehicle accident on March 26th. Ten years prior, on March 26, 2011, Trooper Kevin Dobson was killed on the 290 in the Town of Tonawanda. Dobson was conducting a traffic stop when he was struck and killed by a vehicle.

On Friday, March 26th, the New York State Police honored Trooper Dobson.

Saturday afternoon New York Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered flags on state government buildings to be flown at half-staff in honor of Trooper Gallagher.

Governor Cuomo said in a statement:

“Trooper Gallagher is a hero to all New Yorkers — he dedicated his life to public service and worked to keep us safe,”

Cuomo continued:

“His tragic passing is a reminder of the selfless actions so many brave first responders take each day. We will never forget him, and to honor his memory, I am directing flags be flown at half-staff to honor his memory.”

While these were both tragic accidents, they could have been avoided if the motorists had adhered to the “Move Over” law. The “Move Over” law, which was enacted in New York in 2010, is a two fold law which requires motorists to either slow down, or to change lanes in order to stay as far away from an emergency vehicle as possible. 
According to Extreme Tactical Dynamics’ website:
“Move Over Laws apply to two very different types of conditions regarding emergency vehicles that are displaying flashing emergency lights. Motorists are supposed to MOVE OVER ‘to the right’ and stop when they see flashing lights and hear sirens especially if it’s in the rear view mirror or at an intersection because a first responder vehicle is coming towards them and ‘needs’ to get through as quickly as possible. The second type of Move Over Law applies to motorists who see stationary flashing lights ahead of them in the same direction; they are to pull to the left at least one lane, two if possible, and slow down, alert and ready to receive addition driving instructions from the police.”
Currently, Washington D.C. is the only area in the country that does not have a “Move Over” law in place. 

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United States Marine, Florida police officer killed in crash after rear tire blows out while on a highway

February 22, 2021

MIAMI, FL – A police officer in Florida has reportedly passed away after he was involved in a single-vehicle crash during the early morning hours of February 21st. 

Officials say that the crash was caused due to a rear tire blowout on the cruiser

According to officials, 43-year-old Miccosukee Police Officer Horacio Sebastián Dominguez was headed westbound on Interstate 75 at around 1:20 a.m., when a rear tire on his patrol vehicle blew out near Mile Marker 51.

Investigators say that the patrol vehicle flipped numerous times after Officer Dominguez had lost control of the cruiser.

During the crash, Officer Dominguez was reportedly ejected from the vehicle, with investigators saying that he wasn’t wearing his seatbelt at the time of the crash. 

Sadly, Officer Dominguez was pronounced dead at the scene. 

The Miccosukee Police Department gave the following statement after having confirmed the passing of Officer Dominguez: 

“Officer Horacio Sebastián Dominguez was a dedicated military veteran, marine and soldier, who served his country honorably and recently retired as a staff sergeant with the Army National Guard. He leaves behind a wife and young daughter.”

The Florida Highway Patrol is still investigating the circumstances surrounding the crash. 

The Sunshine State has been bearing a proverbial dark cloud as of late with regard to fallen officers killed in vehicular incidents. 

Merely four days prior to the death of Officer Dominguez, a Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputy was said to have been killed by a suspected drunk driver. 

Here’s that previous report. 

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PINELLAS COUNTY, FL – A 30-year-old Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputy was reportedly killed by a suspected drunk driver during the afternoon of February 17th, according to reports

Officials say that the suspected drunk driver, who is a convicted felon, was said to have been driving on a suspended license at the time of the incident. 

According to details provided by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Michael Magli was identified as the deputy killed during the February 17th incident. 

Officials say the series of events started when rescue crews had responded to reports of a man, later identified as 33-year-old Robert Holzaepfel, who’d fallen asleep behind the wheel of a Ford F-150 at a red light. 

When members of said crew had busted open Holzaepfel’s driver’s side window, he’d reportedly woke up and fled the area. 

Deputies who were on the scene attempted to stop Holzaepfel as he was reportedly driving down Keystone Road in a reckless manner. Deputy Magli had reportedly deployed some stop sticks to disable the suspect’s vehicle near Eastlake Road and Forelock Road. 

After said stop sticks were deployed, Holzaepfel was said to have lost control of the vehicle and wound up driving directly into Deputy Magli.

Unfortunately, the deputy was pronounced deceased at the scene. 

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri described the incident during a press briefing: 

“As Deputy Magli got out of his cruiser, he removed the stop sticks from the rear of the car and then moved to the road so he could deploy the stop sticks.”

“As he was moving to the west on the median, the suspect’s vehicle spun out, flipped over, and very very violently slammed into Deputy Magli and his cruiser.”

“The cruiser did about a 180-degree spinout, Deputy Magli was pinned under the car…and he is deceased.”

According to Sheriff Gualtieri, Holzaepfel was intoxicated during the incident. Reports also showcase that the suspect has 16 prior felony convictions and was driving with a suspended license during the incident. 

Holzaepfel was said to have been taken into custody, with charges against the suspect pending as of this writing. 

Deputy Magli leaves behind a wife and two young children with his passing. He was said to have been with the sheriff’s department for eight years, and is the first line of duty death for the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. 

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis shared his condolences on Twitter on the day Deputy Magli passed away: 

“Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family of Deputy Michael Magli, killed today in the line of duty. [Casey DeSantis] and I are keeping them in our thoughts and prayers, as well as the entire [Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office] family. His service and sacrifice will not be forgotten.”

Sheriff Gualtieri described the fallen deputy’s final acts before his death as a means to “protect people”: 

“It was a situation where the person needed to be stopped. Otherwise, he was going to hurt someone else.”

“Deputy Magli was trying to protect people. He was trying to keep others from being hurt by this guy who is driving like a maniac, drunk, reckless, going to hurt somebody so he stepped up like cops do.”

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Author: K. Winters

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