'It's nothing short of a miracle.' 2 Hudson Valley officers recovering from serious on-duty crashes minutes apart
Authorities say they now have high hopes for the recovery of two Hudson Valley police officers badly hurt this week in on-duty crashes minutes and miles apart in Warwick and Ellenville.
“It’s nothing short of a miracle," said Warwick Police Chief John Radar. "She was broadsided by a loaded tractor-trailer and is talking to us today.”
Warwick Police Officer Jordan Tetreault was less than two weeks into working full time with the department and was about to end her shift just before 10 p.m. Tuesday when authorities say a Freightliner truck ran a stop sign and crashed into her cruiser on Route 9.
About 45 minutes later, Ellenville Police Officer Matthew Rodriguez’s cruiser and a van with 12 people inside collided with its emergency lights on at the intersection of Center and Main streets.
"The door jammed shut. The airbags all went off. There were three civilians who came to the officer’s immediate aid," said Ellenville Police Chief Philip Mattracion.
The department heads say these calls involving their own are dreaded.
“That is the worst phone call that I can get," said Radar.
"I was sick to my stomach," said Mattracion.
Both chiefs are thanking the public and the law enforcement community for their support and well wishes in the days since.
“Pretty much every local agency that could come came to support us,” said Radar. Tetreault remains hospitalized and is recovering from injuries to her lower body.
Rodriguez is now home after undergoing surgery for broken bones in his hand and arm.
“We are here to help the public. When something like this happens, the help that is coming our way is truly humbling.”
News 12 is told the truck driver involved in the Warwick crash, 50-year-old Mouhamadou Diallo, from Brooklyn, had minor injuries and that none of the people inside the van in Ellenville were hurt.
Both crashes are being investigated by outside agencies.
Neither Radar or Mattracion would comment on the investigation, but the Ellenville police chief said the incidents are a reminder to the public to be alert and careful when driving.
"Take the time to use caution and look always," said Mattracion. "The last thing you want to see is an unwarranted fatality or tragedy as a result of just not taking the time."