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Green light in dispute in Albany crash involving State Police car

Five individuals, including two state police officers, were admitted to Albany Medical Center Hospital following a vehicle collision between a squad car and a taxi at the crossing of North Allen Street and Washington Avenue. The police squad car was chasing a speeding vehicle.

Those admitted to the hospital included the 61-year old cab driver, his 22-year old passenger and a 29-year old police officer. The crash resulted in the temporary closing of a section of Washington Avenue.

The cab driver and his passenger who, according to police, are in guarded condition were ejected from the cab upon the crash. The state police officer was treated for minor cuts, while the other taxi passenger and another state trooper were examined at the hospital and released.

According to police, the squad car was on traffic patrol when officers noticed a speeding Sedan. Officers pursued the vehicle with their sirens and lights on, but quickly lost sight of the vehicle. Although they lost sight of the sedan, officers said they continued to search for it with their lights and sirens off.

Police are blaming the collision on the cab driver, saying that he was distracted by an exchange of money between the taxi driver and his passengers and that there was a green light in favor of the squad car.

A representative from the cab company, however, said that the cab driver had a green light in his favor, and that the police vehicle did not have lights or sirens engaged at the time of the crash. He added that company policy is to receive money at the beginning of the cab ride. The representative also noted that the force of crash pushed the taxi over a snow bank and well onto a side yard. "That's no 30-mile-per-hour impact," the cab company representative said. "The speed that he was hit had to be tremendous."

Source: Albany Times Union, "Green light at issue in crash," Jordan Carleo-Evangelist, 2/26/2011

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