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(NY)(03-26-2021) NYSP Trooper who was hit by a vehicle in 2017 has died

(NY)(03-26-2021) NYSP Trooper who was hit by a vehicle in 2017 has died
State Trooper Joseph Gallagher died Friday, March 26th, 2021, three years after he was struck by a vehicle while helping a disabled motorist on a Sagtikos Parkway overpass in Commack, State Police officials said Saturday.

"It is with great sadness that Acting Superintendent Kevin P. Bruen announces the line of duty death of Trooper Joseph Gallagher," said a statement from the State Police.

On Dec. 18, 2017, Gallagher was struck by a vehicle while assisting a disabled motorist on the overpass from the westbound Long Island Expressway to the southbound Sagtikos Parkway. Gallagher, who was 38 at the time, was struck by a car driven by Jesse Cohen, who was distracted by three separate texting conversations, prosecutors said.

The father of two suffered a traumatic brain injury, losing the ability to walk, talk or eat without help.

On the day of the collision, Gallagher had parked his patrol car, with its lights flashing, behind a stopped car, prosecutors said. He closed one of the two lanes on the overpass and placed flares around the disabled vehicle, officials said.

Cohen was on his way home from the Walt Whitman Shops mall — where he was getting his phone repaired — when he crashed into Gallagher. Prosecutors say Cohen sent and received dozens of text messages, and had several social media apps open, in the 20 minutes leading up to the crash.

Cohen, 24, of West Islip, pleaded guilty to third-degree assault with criminal negligence, a misdemeanor. He was sentenced to 30 days time served, three years of probation and 1,000 hours of community service in a Central Islip court packed with state troopers.
Trooper Joseph Gallagher
Trooper Joseph Gallagher

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