Nicholas Congemi, the resident of a home at the intersection of Breeman Street and Central Avenue, describes what he was doing when a car crashed into his house. (Jim Franco/Spotlight News)
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The man who hit four vehicles before crashing into a house at the intersection of Central Avenue and Breeman Street stands charged with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs, a misdemeanor.
It is expected Donald Bender, 51, of Schenectady, will be admitted to Albany Medical Center Hospital after being discharged from the emergency room, where he was taken after the crash.
The investigation is ongoing, said Colonie Lt. Robert Winn, and more charges are expected.
He will not, though, get charged with injuring a female officer who was the first on the scene. He grabbed her arm, and she did go to the hospital for treatment but, according to Winn, the “circumstances of her injury and the minor nature of her injury will not lead to any charge against the defendant.”
He was issued an appearance ticket in Colonie Town Court on Monday, July 2.
The original story is below.
COLONIE – Police are still sorting out what caused the driver of an SUV to hit four other vehicles and end up crashing into a house at the corner of Breeman Street and Central Avenue.
Also, after hitting the house the driver, who has not yet been identified, was combative and struck at least two witnesses at the scene. He also injured a female police officer’s arm as she tried to interview him.
She was taken to the hospital for treatment. He was taken into custody.
There were no other serious injuries.
According to Lt. Robert Winn, it not clear what caused the driver to hit four vehicles and nearly hit several others, including a bus or if it was intentional.
One car was flipped upside down on top of a fire hydrant on front of the Days Inn hotel.
“We don’t know why he was doing it,” Winn said. “We don’t know if he was chasing somebody. We don’t know if it was a medical event or a psychological event or if it was alcohol or drug related.”
The driver was complaining of shoulder pain, the driver of a struck minivan complained of back pain, the driver of the car that ended up on a fire hydrant was not injured and the driver of a tow truck that was hit was not injured either.
As for charges, Winn was not yet sure if the driver would face anything for what transpired on the road, but was confident he would face some criminal charges for the injuries inflicted on the officer.
Nicholas Congemi, the resident of the house located across Breeman Street from the Motel 6 where the SUV ended up, said he felt his house shift but wasn’t sure what had transpired until his 11-year-old daughter ran into his room and told him a car crashed into it.
“I was in my bedroom. She was in her bedroom. I heard some screeching. I knew there was going to be an accident but I did not know it would hit the side of my house,” he said. “My daughter came in and told me what was going on because when she peaked out of her window the vehicle was right outside.”
His daughter, Rose Angel, was not injured at all, he said and was taking everything in stride.
“She just wants to leave and go get some ice cream,” he said.
The two had just moved into the house three months ago and will now probably spend at least a few nights in a hotel until the house can get assessed and possibly repaired.
More information as it becomes available.