10/15/2007

N.Y. trooper involved in fatal crash

Victoria E. Freile
Staff writer

WAYNE COUNTY, N.Y. — A Wayne County woman was killed one day before her 31st birthday in a two-car accident in Huron, Wayne County, which involved a marked State Police vehicle last night.

Shonda Skinner, 30, of North Rose, was pronounced dead at the scene after the accident near Route 104 and Fifth Road.

Skinner allegedly turned into the path of a police car on State Route 104 after picking her seven-year-old son up at his father’s home around 11:30 p.m. yesterday, according to New York State Police troopers.

Trooper Eric Kristansen, 26, was responding to assist a nearby Wayne County Sheriff’s Deputy when the accident occurred, said State Police Maj. Steven White. A deputy had stopped a vehicle in Sodus that he believed was involved in a home invasion robbery that occurred nearly an hour earlier on East Port Bay Road in Wolcott, Wayne County. In that case, three armed men allegedly forcibly entered a Wolcott home and stole several hundred dollars from a male resident, White said.

Kristansen was traveling west on Route 104, with his lights and sirens activated, when Skinner, also westbound, initiated a left turn near Fifth Road, troopers said. White said Kristansen attempted to evade Skinner’s vehicle, but was unable to avoid striking the car.

The passenger side of the state police vehicle reportedly struck the rear of Skinner’s 1995 Geo and the patrol vehicle overturned several times after impact. Both vehicles came to rest well off the southwest corner of the intersection, troopers said.

White said he did not know how fast the patrol vehicle was traveling at the time of the crash.

“We’re still trying to determine who is at fault,” White said. “It’s a horrible tragedy and too early to assign blame to anyone.”

Troopers early today were working to reconstruct the accident. Both vehicles were heavily damaged in the crash, White said.

Kristansen, who sustained minor injuries, reportedly cut off his seatbelt, checked on Skinner and her seven-year-old son Jayden, who was a passenger in her car, and called 911, White said. He reportedly helped the boy from the car.

Jayden Skinner was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital via Mercy Flight, troopers said. The boy reportedly broke his leg. Jayden was in the hospital’s emergency room this morning, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

Trooper Kristansen was also transported to Strong and was treated and released, White said. He reportedly sustained a cut on his face and minor chest injuries.

Kristansen, who has been with the department for about 18 months, was expected to return to work in several days, White said. “He was very upset” about the accident, White said.

Troopers early today were working to reconstruct the accident and were investigating the collision.

White said Kristansen and Jayden Skinner were both wearing seat belts, but was not certain if Shonda Skinner was wearing a seat belt when the collision took place.

The vehicle stopped by deputies turned out not to be linked to the home invasion robbery, White said. Troopers and deputies were also investigating that incident

Copyright 2007 The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle

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