Author: Cynthia Diaz Shephard/Wed, Mar 26, 2014/Categories: Blog

nassau-county-police-cruiserThomas Krumpter, the acting Police Commissioner for New York’s Nassau County, crashed into a vehicle, causing a three-car crash, with at least one injury, last week.

Krumpter, 47, rear-ended another car and was not hurt, but was “following too closely,” which was an “apparent contributing factor” in the accident, the Suffolk Police department accident report indicated. Krumpter was not issued any summonses.

Krumpter was driving north in his department-issued 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe, on Elwood Road in East Northport some 25 feet south of Elchester Drive, when he hit the rear of a 2007 Chevrolet Malibu, “stopped in traffic.” The crash occurred at about 6:58 p.m. last Wednesday, according to the Suffolk Police accident report, wrote Newsday. Nassau Police provided the report to Newsday at the media outlet’s request.

The driver of the Malibu was identified as Karen T. Haar, 24, of East Northport. After Haar’s vehicle was struck, her vehicle struck the vehicle in front of hers in a chain reaction, according to the report. The third driver left after first pulling over; Krumpter and Haar were both wearing their seat belts, according to the report, wrote Newsday. Haar was conscious, complained of neck pain, and was taken to Huntington Hospital. She was treated and released.

Haar told Newsday in a telephone interview that she was driving home from Plainview—she is a substitute teacher in the Elwood school district—when a black Tahoe “just barreled into the back of me.” According to Newsday, she was stopped at a red light. She pulled onto the right shoulder along with Krumpter and the other driver, a man.

“I stood up out of my car and looked and it was just a big, black truck with flashing lights. I kept saying, ‘Who hit me?’ I said, ‘You hit me? You’re a cop?’ And he said, ‘Yeah,’ and he was just texting on his phone [while she talked to him]. And I said, ‘Did you call the other cops?’ And he said, ‘Yes they’re on the way,’ ” according to the Newsday report. She said that, at the time of the accident, she had no idea the driver of the black Tahoe was the acting Police Commissioner for Nassau County, and only learned that the next day when her father picked up the police report. “I Googled it and there his face came right up,” said Haar.

Haar said the third driver spoke to both her, as well as Krumpter. He said his vehicle was not damaged and then left the scene. She said that once the Suffolk officers arrived, they told her she should have taken the man’s driver’s license and insurance information, wrote Newsday. Haar told the officers that Krumpter should “know to get the information. They agreed.”

According to Haar, she had very little interaction with Krumpter, telling Newsday that,  “Once the county police got there, the commissioner went into his police car and I could never talk to him again…. Usually if someone rear-ends you, you have a conversation. But I never had another word with him.” She told Newsday that she still has pain on the right side of her neck and back and a large bruise on her right arm from steering wheel impact. The car, which is registered to her father, suffered damage to the bumper and trunk.

Department spokesman, Nassau Police Inspector Kenneth Lack, said Krumpter was unavailable to comment Tuesday. In a statement issued following the crash, Lack said that, following the crash, “Commissioner Krumpter assisted the driver of car number two, and called Suffolk County Police.”

Suffolk Deputy Chief Kevin Fallon, a department spokesman, said officers do not usually issue tickets unless an infraction is observed at an accident scene and that Krumpter received no special treatment. “The only one . . . [who] the officers are laying any type of blame is to Commissioner Krumpter,” said Fallon. “That says to me that it was handled professionally and appropriately,” he added, according to Newsday.

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