A New York State trooper died after suffering traumatic brain injuries more than three years ago when he was struck by a distracted driver’s vehicle, authorities said Saturday.
Police officer Joseph Gallagher died Friday, Kevin P. Bruen, Acting Superintendent of the New York State Police, said in a statement.
Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered the flags on state buildings to be flown at half mast.
“His tragic passing is a reminder of the selfless actions that so many brave first responders take every day,” Cuomo said in a statement.
Gallagher was helping a driver whose vehicle broke down on Dec. 18, 2017, when he was hit on an overpass connected to the Long Island Expressway, Bruen said.
Driver Jesse Cohen was texting and using social media on his phone when his vehicle crashed into Gallagher, who had installed flares to warn traffic, prosecutors said.
Cohen’s attorney, Louis Roman, said last year that his client had “assumed full responsibility for his actions.”
The motorist was sentenced to time served, 30 days in jail, three years of probation and 1,000 hours of community service for causing the accident.
Gallagher, a police officer since 2014, worked at the state police office in Brentwood, New York, Bruen said.
Cuomo’s office said the officer is survived by his wife, two children, parents, sister and brothers.