NEW YORK - A New York State Police officer has died more than three years after being struck by a distracted driver on Long Island.
Acting Superintendent Kevin P. Bruen announced the death of Trooper Joseph Gallagher on Saturday. Gallagher was severely injured in December 2017 when he was struck by a distracted driver while helping a disabled motorist on an overpass leading to the Long Island Expressway near Brentwood.
Gallagher 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, according to Newsday.
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.
With the Associated Press.
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