The Daily Voice reported that a case involving a motorist who struck a state trooper after allegedly exchanging text messages while driving has been moved from Suffolk County to Westchester, where the District Attorney’s office has been appointed as special prosecutor. (Citing a conflict, the Suffolk DA recused themselves from the case, according to the article.)
On December 18, 2017, New York State Trooper Joseph Gallagher was assisting a motorist whose vehicle broke down on the Sagtikos Parkway overpass. According to Westchester DA Anthony Scarpino, Jr., Gallagher closed one lane and parked his police cruiser behind the disabled vehicle, leaving the lights on. He also set road flares to move traffic away from the scene.
Jesse Cohen, 25, of West Islip, failed to follow the traffic pattern and drove his car into Gallagher. The indictment alleges that, in the 20 minutes leading up to the crash, he sent and received numerous text messages. The crash left Gallagher unable to walk, speak or feed himself.
On April 16, Cohen was arraigned in Suffolk County Court in Central Islip after being indicted of third-degree assault with criminal negligence; the charge carries a sentence of up to one year. He was released on his own recognizance and is scheduled to go back to court on May 7.
If you are charged with a serious traffic-related criminal matter involving driving while impaired or distracted driving, it is important to seek legal representation immediately. The Long Island traffic and criminal defense lawyers at McGuire, Peláez & Bennett, PC are experienced in handling these cases and will fight vigorously on your behalf. For information or to schedule a consultation, contact our Suffolk County traffic lawyers at (631) 348-1702.