Three deaths and four serious crashes in 10 days
UPDATE: Another crash claims life of a bicyclist on Central Avenue
COLONIE – In the last 10 days, the Colonie police traffic division investigated three nighttime fatal pedestrian accidents and a medical emergency that caused a wreck that injured six people on Wolf Road on Wednesday.
The three fatal accidents took place on Central Avenue and Troy Schenectady Road and all three involved pedestrians walking in the roadway where they were hit by vehicles.
On Sunday, Nov. 12 at 11:55 p.m. Colonie police responded to the westbound lanes of Central Avenue where a Ford F-150 struck a pedestrian in the roadway near the intersection of Fuller Road.
After an investigation police determined that Theodore Gourdine, 48, who was homeless, was walking in the roadway and not in a crosswalk when the accident occurred.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Almost 24 hours later on Monday night at 11:44 p.m., Colonie police responded to Troy Schenectady Road near British American Boulevard for a report of another pedestrian crash. After an investigation police determined that Timothy Smith, 62, who was homeless, stepped off the curb and into the lane of travel where he was hit. The crash took place mid-block and not near any crosswalks and Smith was thrown into the windshield of the car and onto the pavement. He was transported to the Albany Medical Center Hospital and died there.
“The drivers in both these incidents have not been found to be at fault and will not be ticketed,” Lt. Robert Donnelly of the Colonie Police Traffic Division said. “These cases are pedestrian errors. They were walking outside crosswalks and wearing dark clothing. That really was a factor here.”
Eight days later on Tuesday, Nov. 21 at approximately 6:03 p.m., Colonie police responded to another car versus pedestrian crash on Central Avenue near the intersection of Mountain View Avenue. Like the crash on November 13, the weather was poor and visibility low.
After an investigation it was determined that Mark Schimmer, 67, who was homeless, was wearing dark clothing and was not in a crosswalk or at a traffic signal.
He was treated at the scene by Colonie EMS and taken to the Albany Medical Center Hospital where he died from his injuries.
In all three cases police said that the drivers stopped immediately and speed or intoxication were not factors.
Police also had trouble identifying the victims.
“They did not have any identification on them. It was really tough to find out who they were,” Donnelly said.
Schimmer was finally identified on November 24 with the help of the Maricopa County, Ariz. Sheriff’s Office.
Serious crash on Wolf Road
The next morning, Wednesday, Nov. 23, Colonie police responded to a multiple car crash on Wolf Road that sent six people to area hospitals.
At approximately 8:35 a.m. a driver of Nissan had a medical incident and sped through a red light at the intersection of Marcus Boulevard and careened off a Subaru with three people in it and continued down Wolf Road at a high rate of speed.
The car then hit another Subaru at the intersection of Ulenski Drive with two people in it and then hit a Waste Management garbage truck and became wedged under it.
The Nissan also hit a National Grid transformer.
“The transformer was smoking after the crash when we got there. We notified National Grid,” Donnelly said. “When they got there, there were a series of bangs and the power went out to the surrounding area.”
Donnelly said that National Grid restored power to some of the area within 10 minutes, but other nearby businesses were out for an extended time or only had half power. The transformer was at least 15 feet from the road.
Six people, including the 68-year-old driver of the Nissan with the medical event were taken to the hospital with what appeared to be non-life threatening injuries, he said.
The crash is still under investigation and anyone that witnessed any of the crash or has video footage is asked to call Colonie police at 518-782-2620.