NORTHAMPTON, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A local police officer died after he was struck by a car Monday night along Route 30 in the hamlet of Northampton.
Around 10 p.m. Monday, Robert Johnson, 60, was on his way home to Mayfield after clocking out of his shift as a patrol officer in Northville. He saw a woman in distress pulled off on the side of the road along Route 30 in front of the Valero gas station.
“He pulled over when he saw the deer in the road and her,” Fulton County Sheriff Richard Giardino said.
Shortly after, the sheriff said a 25-year-old man was driving along Route 30 when he became distracted by the crowd of people on the side of road due to the deer accident. The man struck Officer Johnson, which killed him instantly.
“[He] saw a commotion on the south side, saw cars and people on the south side of the road,” the sheriff said. “He pulled over to his right a little bit. He wanted to avoid the other cars and the cars oncoming towards him. Apparently, he was looking at the people on his left, and struck Officer Johnson on the shoulder of the roadway.”
Johnson was a retired Gloversville police officer. He worked part time for the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office before he started working for Northville Police Department.
“It was a rough night for the patrol officers. Everybody knew Bobby. Most of us worked with him,” Giardino said. “They all loved working with him. Just easy going. Bobby was such an easy going guy.”
Officers with the Gloversville Police Department were also holding onto the legacy of a fellow officer and friend.
“I feel it’s not what we do today, but it’s what we leave behind the legacy that Bobby left for everyone that he touched,” Gloversville Police Cpt. Michael Scott said.
They are working to cope with the death of a well-liked and well respected law enforcement veteran. A young group of officers, including Cpt. Scott, looked up to him.
“Working under Bobby and with Bobby, and he kind of taught us the ropes of how to do things and the Gloversville way of doing things,” Scott said.
Giardino also knew Johnson personally. When the sheriff served as a county court judge, he officiated Johnson’s wedding. He said Tuesday was by far one of the hardest things he’s had to deal with in his professional career.
“It was one of the worst days I’ve had as a sheriff and in my professional career, between being at the scene and notifying the family,” he said. “There’s no joy celebrating July 4 today.”
A full police honors funeral will be held Sunday, July 9 at the Gloversville Middle School at 1 p.m. The services are open to the public.