Police: Driver in fatal Route 7 crash wanted to die
Police say Emmanuel Humphreys, 36, was on a mission to hurt himself -- that's what he was telling his girlfriend, over the phone. Police say their attempt to stop him ended more than 20 miles away from where they initially found him.
"It was a huge bang, and then you heard the skidding."
Karra Mancini says she looked outside her home on Route 7 in Rotterdam after midnight last night to see police cars already on scene -- just seconds after she heard a crash, and saw a woman getting out of her car.
"It wasn't until I got closer to the scene that i saw the other vehicle that was in front of her,” Mancini said. “The vehicle did not look good.”
Police say Humphreys crashed head-on into a dump truck on Route 7, his car splitting in pieces, one piece hitting the car driven by the woman Mancini saw.
"He hit the dump truck, spun off of that, and then one of our troop cars ran into his car,” Police Captain Robert Patnaude said.
Patnaude says Humphreys was dead at the scene. The crash, he says, was the end of a 21-mile pursuit of Humphreys' car by three state troopers and two sheriffs.
"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."
Police say they responded to a domestic dispute call to Humphreys' Richmondville home -- but he was already gone. Police say Humphreys was found and stopped in Schoharie County, but he sped off.
During the chase, police say Humphreys remained on the phone with his girlfriend, who was with an officer.
"He was making suicidal comments, looking to crash his car and die,” police say.
Captain Patnaude says the chase reached speeds between 60 and 80 miles per hour -- but Humphreys’ speed on impact is still unknown.
"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."
Two troopers were injured, one who had his foot run over at the initial stop, the other at the crash when his car hit Humphreys, they were treated at Ellis Hospital.