Trooper charged with reckless driving in July crash that sent five to hospitals

Chautauqua County

SHERIDAN, N.Y. (WIVB) — A New York State Trooper was arrested on Tuesday and charged in a July crash on a stretch of the Thruway that runs through Chautauqua County.

Stephen Barker is charged with second-degree reckless endangerment and reckless driving after an investigation into the July 15 crash.

State Police said that a cruiser driven by Barker, 33, crashed into the back of a minivan after he failed to notice that the van was slowing down to traffic.

The five occupants were taken to hospitals in Buffalo and Dunkirk. State police said all were treated for injuries ranging from minor to severe.

An attorney for Timothy McCann, who was taken to a Buffalo hospital by helicopter from the crash scene, said that he remains paralyzed.

“Timothy McCann arrived back at home on Christmas Eve from the spinal rehab center where he had been taken for treatment. The McCann’s are grateful to the emergency responders who saved his life that day (July 15). He appreciates the actions taken by the NYS Police to investigate the accident and District Attorney (Patrick) Swanson’s handling of the matter. Although he remains paralyzed, Mr. McCann is looking forward to spending 2020 with his family and prays for his other friends who were also injured in the accident.”

Cheryl Meyers Buth, attorney for crash victim Timothy McCann

Barker is suspended without pay, say state police.

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