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N.Y. Trooper Dies from Crash Injuries

December 19, 2013  | 

Trooper David Cunniff (Photo: New York State Police)
Trooper David Cunniff (Photo: New York State Police)

New York State Police officials announced Tuesday the death of Trooper David Cunniff. Trooper Cunnif's cruiser was hit from behind by a tractor-trailer Monday night on the Thruway, the Albany Times-Union reports.

Cunniff, 35, a trooper for nine years who was most recently assigned to Troop T's Fonda-Fultonville barracks, was one hour into his shift patrolling the Thruway around 8 p.m. when he pulled over Eric Heller for speeding near Exit 27.

"A truck hit him from behind, pushing him off the right shoulder of the highway and partially ejecting Trooper Cunniff from his cruiser and causing him massive head injuries," Superintendent Joseph D'Amico said Tuesday at a news conference. "The truck then continued on and hit Heller's car, coming to rest on top of it."

Comments (7)

Displaying 1 - 7 of 7

Chief Mullane @ 12/19/2013 4:53 PM

Top cause of officer related deaths, traffic stops. In dedication and memory of this troopers life, let's all be careful out there !!
Rest well brother !

Ima Leprechaun @ 12/19/2013 6:59 PM

Unfortunately this is a common problem with all traffic stops. My condolences to the Troopers family and his department. The violator the Trooper stopped had to be cut from his vehicle but survived after the Semi came to a stop on top of his car. The Semi driver has yet to be charged. The news report stated that no alcohol or drugs appear to have been a factor with the semi hitting the Trooper.

Longhaul444 @ 12/19/2013 8:15 PM

I have too seen this toooooo many times to count. As a long haul trucker, I always move over for any vehicle on the shoulder. After 17 years OTR, I can say that I have no accidents. There needs to be more done to protect those who serve the public. It wouldn't surprise me if the truck driver was using his cell phone right before the crash. I have seen drivers texting and doing other things in their cabs instead of driving. As a current driver trainer, I tell all my students that if your phone rings or beeps while your in the drivers seat in my truck and you reach for it, it goes out the window. My condolences to the troopers family and the entire brotherhood of blue across this country. Stay vigilant, and remember you have a family to go home to. RIP Trooper Cunniff.

TheRookie @ 12/19/2013 8:17 PM

Trying to make the highways safe, and having these accidents happen is a hard pill to swallow. When a youngster I wrote a paper in my Constitutional Law class drafting an Amendment for regulating semi-trucks/tracker-trailers to be driven 12 hrs. max, and at night only unless special exempt permit(s) issued. What a dream it was then, and now. Truck drivers spend many hours behind the wheel due to delivery pressure(s). They get tired, plain & simple. RIP Trooper. May GOD be with your family at such a heart wrenching time. Brothers/Sisters in Blue stay safe out there. Space, and stagger your Patrol Vehicle as much as allowed.

John @ Iowa retired @ 12/21/2013 1:24 PM

Rest I peace Trooper Cunniff. Prayers to you and your family. I also wish Eric Heller a quick recovery. I hope he has learned a valuable lesson and never speeds again.

Joe @ 12/21/2013 10:29 PM

I am an OTR Driver and neighbor of Trooper David Cunniff and his family. After 25 years of driving experience, I am angered at any driver who can not maintain control of their vehicle. In this case, I have lost a friend and neighbor. Hoping that a full investigation will give reason to this tragedy.
Good Bye David, neighbor...

S.S. @ 12/23/2013 9:09 AM

I feel your frustration Joe. But no one ever thinks that this will ever happen to them and so they continue on their merry way. We as LEO need to advise these people what they are putting at risk. It sucks but someone has to do it. RIP Trooper Cunniff. My prayers go out to you and yours. Bless You.

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