Police say driver shrugged after hitting pedestrian


Andrew D. Johnston mugshot (Watervliet Police)

WATERVLIET, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Police say one of the drivers in a car accident hit a pedestrian while trying to flee officers on foot who approached to investigate.

Police are identifying Andrew D. Johnston, 37, of Brunswick as the driver who hit the 52-year-old pedestrian after a car crash. The pedestrian had stopped to help with the accident.

According to law enforcement, Johnston shrugged his shoulders at them in response to their commands as he fled, nearly striking another pedestrian—a police sergeant—in the process.

The incident took place at around 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, near 21st Street and Broadway in Watervliet.

Finding Johnston after an investigation, the police arrested him on Friday. They say he admitted to fleeing because of a suspended license.

Charges against Johnston include second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation, leaving the scene of a personal injury auto accident, reckless driving, third-degree unlawful fleeing from a police officer while operating a vehicle, third-degree assault, first-degree reckless endangerment, and several other traffic infractions. These charges are worth up to nine years in prison if convicted.

The injured pedestrian received emergency medical care at a nearby hospital. The driver of the other car was not injured.

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