Police: Ambulance driver fell asleep ahead of fatal Duanesburg crash

DUANESBURG, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Schenectady County Sheriff’s Office released the cause of a fatal crash that involved a Mohawk ambulance.

The ambulance was transporting 64-year-old Chris Aernecke, of Sloansville, on Route 20 in Duanesburg when the vehicle veered off the road and hit a tree.

Aernecke died as a result of massive internal injuries sustained in the crash.

An investigation found the driver fell asleep while behind the wheel. Speed and the use of a cell phone were ruled out as factors, police said.

At the time of the crash, Mohawk Ambulance said the driver was eight hours into a 12-hour shift after 14 hours off. It was also the fifth call of the day for the two-person crew. Mohawk said “this is the first incident of this nature to occur involving one of its service vehicles.”

“This was a terrible and unfortunate accident and we can’t express enough how deeply saddened we are. We continue to pray for the family of Mr. Aernecke and offer our sincerest condolences in their time of grief,” Mohawk Ambulance Service Pres. James P. McPartlon said.

Toxicology results for the driver are pending. The crash remains under investigation.

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