Police: Officer injured in February crash back at work
Steven Cook | March 29, 2017 0Three vehicles, including a Rotterdam police cruiser, were involved in the accident.
PHOTOGRAPHER: PETER R. BARBER
ROTTERDAM -- A Rotterdam police officer injured in a February crash has returned to work, as the investigation into the crash winds down, authorities said.
Officer Dakota Aker recently returned to his duties, having recovered from injuries suffered in the Feb. 16 crash, Deputy Rotterdam Police Chief William Manikas said.
State police and internal Rotterdam Police investigations of the crash continue, according to officials with each agency, but the independent state police inquiry is not expected to result in any tickets being issued, state police Captain Michael Tietz said.
The crash happened just before 4 p.m. on Curry Road, as Aker attempted to catch up with a driver he believed had a suspended registration, Rotterdam police have said. Aker's lights were activated; his siren was not.
As Aker entered the intersection with North Westcott Road, his patrol car struck a van and an SUV.
Aker was taken to Albany Medical Center with back and leg pain. One of the other drivers went to Ellis Hospital to be checked out.
Because a police officer was involved in the crash, Rotterdam police called in the state police to conduct the investigation.
The state police probe is awaiting a collision reconstruction report. Otherwise, Tietz said the officer appeared to have been distracted as he entered the intersection with his emergency lights on, resulting in the crash. Tietz noted officers must monitor multiple areas when driving with their emergency lights on.
Aker's in-car camera captured the crash and the events leading up to it, police have said. The Daily Gazette filed a Freedom of Information Law request for a copy of the video, but Rotterdam police denied that request this week, noting the still-open state police and internal investigations and "potential litigation."
No notices of claim, which are precursors to lawsuits, had been filed against the town as of last week. The deadline to file is 90 days from the date of the incident.
Aker has been a member of the department since May 2015.