BRENTWOOD, N.Y. (AP) — A trooper has died more than three years after he was struck by a distracted driver on Long Island, New York State Police said Saturday.
Trooper Joseph Gallagher was severely injured in December 2017 as he assisted a disabled motorist on an overpass leading to the Long Island Expressway near Brentwood.
State Police said Gallagher died. He had been a trooper since 2014.
On the day of the crash, Gallagher had parked his patrol car with its lights flashing, closed one of the lanes on the overpass and placed flares around the broken down vehicle.
But he was struck by a passing motorist, Jesse Cohen, of West Islip, who prosecutors said had been distracted by three texting conversations, Newsday reports.
Gallagher, a father of two, suffered a traumatic brain injury and lost the ability to walk and talk.
Authorities said Cohen received dozens of messages and had several social media apps open in the minutes before the crash.
He later pleaded guilty to third-degree assault with criminal negligence, a misdemeanor, and was sentenced to 30 days in jail, three years of probation and 1,000 hours of community service.