LATHAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Colonie police are getting ready to make an arrest in the hit-and-run that killed a National Guard member early Sunday morning.
Law enforcement sources say they believe they know who hit and killed Rudolph Seabron, 57, of Rome, N.Y.
The vehicle involved in the incident was recently located, and the owner has been interviewed. Police would not say if they owner was also the driver.
Just before 4:45 a.m. Sunday, police received a call from a motorist on Watervliet-Shaker Road stating he struck what he believed to be a person lying in the road under the I-87 overpass.
When police arrived they found a deceased male. He was identified as Seabron and has three children.
Police said it is unknown how Seabron ended up in the road, but it is believed he left Philly’s Bar and Grill around 3:15 a.m. and walked west on Watervliet-Shaker Road.
Seabron was a member of the 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade as a Master Sergeant. He was at the New York State Armory in Latham over the weekend for a drill.
Police said Seabron joined the New York Army National Guard in 1996 after serving in the Marine Corps. He served in Iraq in 2004, Afghanistan in 2008, and Kuwait in 2012.
His LinkedIn page says he had been working as a shuttle bus driver for Turning Stone Casino and Resort. He did remain active in the guard as a dedicated member.
“Family man serving our country, who gets hit by a driver who leaves the scene,” Colonie Police Lt. Ken Pero said. “He doesn’t deserve that.”
Susan Darbyshire has lived off of Watervliet-Shaker Road for 26 years.
“The traffic is really heavy on that road and very fast,” she said. “I saw all the lights and just didn’t know what was happening.”
The restaurant owner told NEWS10 ABC he doesn’t know if Seabron was there or not. He released the following statement: “It’s unfortunate that it happened, and our hearts and prayers go out to his family.”
He added if someone is visibly intoxicated their policy is to always put them in a cab when they leave.
Darbyshire said people don’t walk Watervliet-Shaker Road because it’s not pedestrian-friendly.
“No sidewalks, there’s no provision for any pedestrians,” she said.
An investigation revealed that Seabron was hit by another vehicle before he was hit by the driver who stopped and called police.
The involved vehicle was found Wednesday night in Melrose in Rensselaer County. It is a 2016 Mazda CX-5 and has significant front end damage, police said.
Lt. Pero said the vehicle was found at the house of a relative of the vehicle’s owner. To find it, police said they looked through a list of nearly 900 Mazda CX-5s sold between 2013 and 2016 in Albany County. They also viewed surveillance video.
“We had a dark-colored SUV on surveillance video, and we were able to combine that with video from a couple of other businesses to see which direction it was going, and, you know, we got lucky,” Pero said.
Lt. Pero said they want to have all their evidence organized before they make an arrest. New York State Police are examining the car.
“We are waiting until we have the proper amount of evidence to charge the person who’s responsible for this,” Pero said.
Proving who was behind the wheel is difficult and Retired Police Captain John Cooney says a forensics sweep of the car will have crucial evidence.
“Even if you’re smart enough to wipe the car down, you’ve left DNA, fingerprints, and hairs there. We’ll find them. Trust me, we’ll find them.”
Attorney Arnold Proskin says is important not to rush a tough case like this.
“Once the person is charged, he has many many many rights and the investigators have to be careful because they can’t talk to the suspect anymore.”
Police said the motorist who called was interviewed, but there is no indication of alcohol, drugs, speed or other criminal conduct on his part. An autopsy was scheduled for Monday.
Police ask if anyone was in the area at the time and may have seen anything to contact the Colonie Police Traffic Safety Division at (518) 783-2744.