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Trooper Suspended For Crashing Into Minivan

Police officers, firefighters, and paramedics who are driving vehicles responding to an emergency can lawfully violate traffic statutes. Despite this legal authority to violate traffic laws, drivers may be held liable if they are in an accident while responding to a call. However, when compared to another driver, a higher standard applies when attempting to prove negligence. 

In order to prove liability, the injured person must prove that the officer acted with reckless disregard for the safety of others. It is important to remember that this standard only applies when the officer is actively responding to an emergency. In other cases, the officer may be held to the normal standard of ordinary negligence. 

New York Upstate reports that a New York State trooper has been arrested and charged for an accident on the Thruway that injured five people. 

33-year-old New York State Trooper Stephen C. Baker was arrested and charged with reckless endangerment and reckless driving. The charges follow a crash that took place on July 15, 2019. 

On that day, Baker was responding to a property damage accident on the Thruway in the town of Sheridan. Just after 1 p.m., he rear-ended a Dodge Caravan with five people in it. Four of those passengers were in their 70s. 

Two of the passengers had to be airlifted to the scene with serious injuries. The other three people suffered from non-life-threatening injuries and were transported to the hospital. 

The Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Collision Reconstruction, Chautauqua District Attorney’s Office and the New York State Police Professional Standards Bureau all investigated. 

Baker is currently suspended without pay. Both of the charges are misdemeanors. 

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