Deputy linked to dirt bike fatal


By David Avitabile

A Middleburgh man died Friday evening after he was ejected from a dirt-bike and collided with a Schoharie County Sheriff's Office patrol car that was in pursuit of the rider.
The dirt-bike rider, Joshua C. Camp, 31, of Middleburgh, was treated at the scene of the collision off of Greibel Lane in the Village of Middleburgh, according to the Cobleskill State Police. He was then taken by Med Flight helicopter to Albany Medical Center where he died from his injuries.
At about 7pm on Friday, a Schoharie County Sheriff's deputy initiated a traffic stop of an unregistered dirt-bike in the Village of Middleburgh, police reported.
The operator of the dirt-bike, Mr. Camp, allegedly failed to comply, and the deputy, who has not been identified, began a pursuit.
The brief pursuit ended on a lawn behind a home on Griebel Lane when Mr. Camp lost control of the dirt-bike and was ejected.
According to the State Police, Mr. Camp was "subsequently struck by the Deputy's marked patrol vehicle."
Sheriff Tony Desmond said that Mr. Camp was ejected from the dirt-bike and "the car and deceased came into contact."
It is not known whether Mr. Camp was riding while his ability was impaired.
After the accident, the Sheriff's Office requested the assistance of the State Police with the investigation.
The Sheriff's Office wanted a "complete unbiased opinion," Sheriff Desmond added.
"We wanted outside eyes looking at it," he said.
No charges have been filed in the death. Whether any will be filed will be up to Schoharie County District Attorney James Sacket, Sheriff Desmond said.
The State Police Troop G Collision Reconstruction Unit and the Cobleskill State Police BCI, in consultation with the DA, are continuing the investigation.
On Monday afternoon, Mr. Sacket said he has just reviewed preliminary reports and spoke to the investigator on Saturday.
It is "too early to say" if there will be any charges or other action, Mr. Sacket added.
"I don't have enough information yet."
The investigation could be lengthy, he noted. Toxicology reports must be completed and there is always the possibility of a grand jury investigation.
In addition, Mr. Sacket said he has been in contact with the state Attorney General's office.
He explained that under a new executive order, the incident could fall under their jurisdiction since it involved an unarmed citizen and the police.
Sheriff Desmond did not want to give too much information about the accident on Monday morning.
"It was a tragedy and we feel bad, but these things happen."
He declined to release the name of the deputy involved.
"At this point, we're not releasing anything from our office."
The Sheriff did say that the deputy has 15 years experience in three Sheriff's departments, including Schoharie County.
He has worked in the Schoharie County Sheriff's Office, either part or full-time, for four years.