New York State Police Trooper Joseph Gallagher died Friday from injuries he suffered in 2017. (Photo: NYSP) -

New York State Police Trooper Joseph Gallagher died Friday from injuries he suffered in 2017. (Photo: NYSP)

A New York State Police trooper died Friday from serious injuries he suffered more than three years ago when he was hit by a “distracted driver.”

Trooper Joseph Gallagher on Dec. 17, 2018 had stopped to assist a disabled motorist on the overpass from the westbound Long Island Expressway to southbound Sagtikos Parkway. Gallagher, who was 38 at the time, was struck by a vehicle driven by Jesse Cohen, who prosecutors said was distracted by three separate texting conversations, Syracuse.com reports.

After being hit, Gallagher suffered a traumatic brain injury and lost the ability to walk, talk or feed himself without help, according to Newsday.

Prosecutors said Cohen, 24, of West Islip, “sent and received dozens of text messages, and had several social media apps open, in the 20 minutes leading up to the crash,” Newsday said.

Cohen later 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.

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