ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — An internal investigation absolved a deputy of any wrongdoing after he was seen driving away from the scene of a fatal crash in November, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office announced Wednesday.
The morning of November 5, 2022, a deputy in a marked MCSO car was caught on video driving away from the East Rochester crash. Investigators say video shows a car speeding, and ten seconds later, a MCSO patrol vehicle drive by with lights flashing.
The deputy was placed on administrative leave, and the New York State Attorney General Office’s was brought in to carry an investigation in addition to the internal one from MCSO Major Crimes.
MCSO investigators stated that the speeding car caught on video left the roadway, striking a tree, causing the car to flip onto its roof and partially strike an occupied home. The driver, 17-year-old Clark Palen, died in the crash.
“It was determined at the point the vehicle left the roadway striking the tree, the deputy was not in a position to see the vehicle as it left the roadway,” representatives with MCSO stated.
“Further, as a result of the tree falling on the overturned unlit vehicle, the deputy did not see it as he passed by the scene still in search of the speeding vehicle.”
MCSO said that the NY Attorney General’s Office agrees that the deputy did not cause or continue to the death of Palen.
The NY Attorney General’s Office did not immediately respond to request for comment.