Doctors 'optimistic' as trooper recovers from Steuben County crash

State Police identified the trooper as Craig Foglia. Trooper Foglia is stationed at Painted Post. (Photo courtesy of viewer)

Campbell, N.Y. (WHAM) - A New York State Trooper remains in guarded condition Thursday afternoon after a pickup truck slammed into the back of his patrol car during a traffic stop Wednesday afternoon.

State Police identified the trooper as Craig Foglia. Trooper Foglia is a 14-year veteran of the New York State Police force stationed at Painted Post.

Doctors at Strong Memorial Hospital said Foglia has "critical, life-threatening injuries."

"The trooper did require surgery overnight," said Dr. Mark Gestring, Director of the Kessler Trauma Center at URMC. "That surgery went well. We hope for a good outcome on that surgery. He still has a number of other confounding injuries."

According to State Police, Trooper Foglia was on I-86 West in Campbell and was in the midst of a traffic stop around 4:45 p.m

While sitting inside his patrol car, a pickup truck slammed into the back of Trooper Foglia's car.

"I can tell you, there was no braking, there were no skid marks; so he hit the car at highway speed," said State Police Major Rick Allen. "He was struck at highway speed. It pushed his car into the car in front of him, and then all three vehicles off the shoulder of the road."

Allen doesn't believe Foglia was wearing a seat belt.

"It's hit or miss, when they put the seat belt on when writing a ticket," he added. "We highly suggest they do wear it, because you never know what's going to happen when you're sitting there."

The driver of the pickup truck, 78-year-old Kenneth Aukett of Westmonth, N.J., was taken to Robert Packard Hospital in Sayre, PA with non-life-threatening injuries.

Trooper Foglia was seriously injured and was taken by medical helicopter to Strong Memorial Hospital.

Doctors who spoke at the news conference said they are optimistic about Foglia's recovery. They added it will be a "prolonged" recovery for him.

Troopers say this accident is an example of why New York's "Move Over" law is so important.

"These laws are made for us to be protected from traffic going by," said Sgt. Martyn Verbakel of the Gates Police Department, "and if there's room for people to move over, they should do so.

"There's no such thing as a routine traffic stop," said Allen. "Any stop can turn deadly in an instant. 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 strike you.”

"They need to move over. Be careful," Verbakel said of drivers on the road. "And when you see lights, no matter what kind of lights - ambulance, fire, police, tow trucks - move over so that people can go home safe."

The cause of the crash remains under investigation. No charges have been filed at this point.

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