Saugerties police officer struck by car during traffic stop

A Saugerties police officer was struck by an automobile while engaged in a vehicle and traffic stop on Rt. 32, south of Peoples Rd. in Saugerties at 4:42 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 20.

Officer Jennifer Culver was treated at the scene by members of the Centerville Cedar Grove Fire Department and EMS personnel from DIAZ Ambulance. Culver was transported by ambulance to Health Alliance  in Kingston where she was treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Culver was struck by a 2010 Subaru Legacy travelling south on Rt. 32. The driver, identified as 79-year-old Melissa M. Sweet of Saugerties, pulled her vehicle over after hitting the officer. Sweet reported to police detectives that she pulled over because she had hit something with her vehicle, not realizing until she got out of her vehicle that she had struck the police officer. Sweet reported that she saw the police car with flashing lights activated and saw the police officer, however believed she had enough room to pass the traffic stop. Sweet was ticketed for failing to obey the New York State Move Over Law.


Following the incident, Chief Joseph Sinagra urged motorists to move over to the left when passing emergency vehicles. If it’s not possible to move over to the left, he said motorists should stop and not attempt to pass the vehicle.