Editor’s note: This article has been corrected to state the deputy has been placed on administrative duty. We regret the error.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputy is on administrative duty after being seen driving away from the area of a fatal East Rochester crash.
According to the MCSO, someone called investigators Monday to report a deputy seen driving away from the Saturday morning crash. Investigators say video shows a vehicle speeding, and a MCSO patrol vehicle with lights flashing 10 seconds behind.
The MCSO says it paused its investigation at that point “due to the uncertainty of what transpired,” alerting the New York State Attorney General’s Office.
17-year-old Clark Palen, an Aquinas Institute student from Honeoye Falls, died in the crash in the area of Bluff Drive and Garfield Avenue Saturday morning. Investigators said the driver lost control of the speeding car and hit a house.
It’s unclear why the MCSO deputy was in the area. We’re told there is no notification protocol for when a deputy turns on emergency lights.
“And then this morning we were able to locate video… we do see the vehicle that crashed, and then 10 seconds later we see our vehicle going by with the lights on. And I know 10 seconds is quite a bit of time when you look at it… but when we saw that we decided we’re going to stop right there– and that’s really all we know. I’ve just told you essentially all that we know, and now we’re trying to get all the details. What we wanted to do is, we do know it was a fatal motor vehicle accident — so we brought (in) the Attorney General’s Office, we had them in today and we’re going to do concurrent investigations with them, and really get into all the information into exactly what was going on,” said Undersheriff Kory Brown
The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office would not disclose what the deputy was doing in the area, whether he was on routine patrol or responding to a call. Undersheriff Brown said Thursday deputies are not required to immediately report why their emergency lights were activated and reiterated they’re still early in the investigation.
The MCSO and AG’s office will carry out separate investigations.
The AG’s office recommended the MCSO equip patrol vehicles with dashboard cameras in September, after a deputy fatally struck a pedestrian in a patrol car. The resulting investigation found no ground for criminal charges in the case, but did suggest dashcams because “members of MCSO often drive on sparsely populated or poorly lighted roads.”
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.