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NYS Trooper with ties to WNY dies 3 years after he was hit by distracted driver

Trooper Joseph Gallagher was hit by a vehicle in December 2017 when he stopped to help another driver who had broken down.

EAST FARMINGDALE, N.Y. — A New York State Trooper who was hit in December 2017 while helping a stranded motorist died Friday, March 26.

Acting Superintendent Kevin P. Bruen announced Trooper Gallagher's line-of-duty death on Saturday.

Trooper Gallagher, who was 35 at the time of the crash, was hit on an overpass leading to the Long Island Expressway near Brentwood on December 18, 2017. 

State Police say Trooper Gallagher had stopped to help a motorist who had broken down. He was setting up emergency flares in the road when he was hit.  

Trooper Gallagher is originally from South Buffalo and later lived in West Seneca. He joined the State Police in 2014. 

He was most recently assigned to Troop L, which covers Nassau and Suffolk counties. He also worked in Troop T (Thruway) and Troop F.

After the crash in 2017, his uncle, William Gallagher, of Buffalo, posted on Facebook that his nephew was a rescue helicopter pilot for the Coast Guard in Detroit before he joined the State Police. 

Trooper Gallagher is survived by his wife, two children, parents, and siblings.

Trooper Gallagher died on the same date New York State Police suffered another loss 10 years ago. Trooper Kevin Dobson, of SP Clarence, was killed on March 26, 2011 while conducting a traffic stop on the 290 in Tonawanda.

Members of the State Police honored Trooper Dobson Friday with a special ceremony at the barracks in Clarence.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Saturday ordered flags on state government buildings to be flown at half-staff in his memory, starting Sunday.

"Trooper Gallagher is a hero to all New Yorkers — he dedicated his life to public service and worked to keep us safe," Governor Cuomo said in a statement.

"His tragic passing is a reminder of the selfless actions so many brave first responders take each day. We will never forget him, and to honor his memory, I am directing flags be flown at half-staff to honor his memory."   

Credit: NYSP

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