New York State Police say that the motorist who led them on a high speed chase before crashing into a dump truck had promised that he would kill himself.
— Andrew Banas (@AndrewWTEN) March 19, 2017
The incident began around 11 p.m. on Saturday when Emmanuel Humphreys, 36, reportedly physically assaulted his girlfriend in Richmondville. By the time police arrived at the home, Humphreys was already gone. Three state troopers and two sheriff’s deputies joined in the pursuit.
Humphreys led police on a chase at speeds of 60 to 80 m.p.h., all the while trying to make contact with his girlfriend on the phone. Authorities say that Humphreys left voicemails making suicidal comments and said that he was looking for a way to crash his car and die.
Twenty-one miles later, close to midnight on Route 7 in Rotterdam, Humphreys collided head on with a passing dump truck. According to State Police Captain Robert Patnaude, “He struck the dump truck, spun off of that and then one of our troop cars ran into his car.”
— Michael Allen (@MallenNews) March 19, 2017
Humphreys’ car split into two pieces on impact with the dump truck. One part hit a trooper’s vehicle and the other hit another car.
Police say Humphreys died instantly. Two troopers suffered minor injuries. The dump truck driver was not hurt.
Patnaude said that Humphreys’ wish to kill himself made the pursuit much more dangerous and noted that he was grateful that the man chose to hit a truck large enough that no one else was hurt: “A lot of times we terminate chases, but with this one in particular, he’s saying he’s looking for something big enough to kill himself, so we don’t want that to be another car with innocent people in it […] “It’s unfortunate that we weren’t able to get him stopped and save his life, but it’s fortunate that he hit the dump truck and that was big enough that he couldn’t hurt anybody else.”
— Daily Gazette (@dgazette) March 19, 2017
The incident is still under investigation.