Trooper Recovering After Truck Smashed Cruiser at Highway Speed

CAMPBELL, N.Y. -- State Trooper Craig Foglia remains listed in critical condition some 24 hours after a roadside crash on Interstate 86 in the town of Campbell, Steuben County.

Foglia, 45, is a 13-year New York State Police veteran and native of Monroe County. He is assigned to the Painted Post barracks.

Foglia was in the midst of a traffic stop and sitting inside his police car around 4:45 p.m. Wednesday when a pickup truck heading west smashed it from behind. The impact threw all three vehicles off the road.

"I feel he was lucky that he was inside the car and not outside the car when this happened. It gave him a fighting chance. He was in a Dodge Charger. The Charger did what it is designed to do. The rear-end crumpled right into the back seat, but the driver's compartment was pretty well self-contained – it was intact – which gave him a fighting chance," said New York State Police Major Rick Allen.

Foglia was carefully extricated from the vehicle then flown by medical helicopter from the scene to a Rochester hospital, about 70 miles to the north. There, he went through two surgeries.

Dr. Mark Gestring, the hospital's director of adult trauma, said that Foglia does seem to be improving. They are optimistic that he will survive.

“That surgery went well and we hope for a good outcome from that surgery," said Gestring, Strong Memorial Hospital. "He still has a number of confounding injuries however so we’re still considering him to be in critical condition.”

Troopers said it’s not clear why the driver of the pickup truck, Kenneth Aukett of New Jersey, did not see Foglia’s car. Aukett was taken to a hospital in Sayre, Pennsylvania.

The investigation into the crash is ongoing, and while alcohol is not believed a factor, troopers will look into factors such as distracted driver or not obeying the Move Over Law. Regardless, the crash only emphasizes the dangers faced by those in charge of keeping highways safe.

“There’s no such thing as a routine traffic stop. Any stop can turn deadly in an instant," Allen said. "It could be someone in the car who turns on you and becomes violent, or an instant like this where another operator is not paying attention or whatever happens, and they leave the road and they strike you, so anything we do on a daily basis can turn deadly in an instant.”

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