One man dead in multiple car crash after chase on Route 7 in Rotterdam; witness reacts

ROTTERDAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) –“It was very terrifying, almost like out of a horror movie,” said Ashley Cowles.

Ashley Cowles woke up to the sounds of screeching tires and metal hitting the ground. Then came the sirens.

“Made me get up and look out my window and I said ‘oh my god!”, said Cowles.

State Police Captain Robert Patnaude says it all started just before 11 Saturday night when they were called to a report that 36-year-old Emmanuel Humphreys had physically assaulted his girlfriend in Richmondville.

Humphreys led three Troopers and two Schenectady County Sheriff’s Deputies on a high-speed chase, the whole time in contact with his girlfriend.

“He was making suicidal comments. He was looking to crash his car and die,” said Cpt. Patnaude.

Troopers made several efforts to stop his car but were unsuccessful. Humphreys was going 60 to 80 miles per hour, speeding up any chance he could. But around midnight, 21 miles later on Route 7 near Burdeck Street in Rotterdam, he ended it.

“He struck the dump truck, spun off of that and then one of our troop cars ran into his car,” said Cpt. Patnaude.

Humphreys’ car split into two pieces.

“Half of his car struck another vehicle that was coming west on Route 7,” said Cpt. Patnaude.

Humphreys died on impact, two Troopers had minor injuries, but Captain Patnaude says it could have been much worse.

For Cowles, this hits close to home.

“It’s very, very sad, very sad, cause I lost my brother from suicide, “said Cowles.

So she hopes this sends a message about mental illness.

“People should take it seriously. Most people don’t,” said Cowles.

State Route 7 between Antonia and Rosoli Road was closed until 1:18 pm in order to investigate and clear the scene of the crash.

An autopsy is scheduled for Monday to determine the cause of death for Humphreys.

The incident is still under investigation.

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