Legislation sponsored by Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (S.6091A/A.7432A) designating a state Thruway bridge to honor the memory of Trooper Joseph Gallagher, who died in the line of duty after being struck by a distracted motorist, has been signed into law by the governor. Located a short distance away from Thruway Exit 54, the bridge crosses over Route 16 in West Seneca, the town where Trooper Gallagher grew up.
Gallagher joined the State Police in 2014 and was previously assigned to Troop F and Troop T. He was last assigned to Troop L, working out of the State Police barracks in Brentwood.
In December 2017, Gallagher was assisting a disabled motorist on the Long Island Expressway at the entrance ramp to the Sagtikos Parkway when he was struck by a distracted driver. Though he initially survived the crash, he died of his injuries in March, and is survived by his wife, two children, parents, sister and brothers.
"Trooper Gallagher grew up in South Buffalo and West Seneca and dedicated his life to helping others. He served our nation as a helicopter pilot with the Coast Guard before becoming a proud member of the State Police. Naming this bridge in his honor is one way to acknowledge his sacrifice and it will stand as a reminder to the community of his hard work and dedication," Senator Gallivan said.
The driver of the vehicle that struck Gallagher was charged in connection with the crash. He later pleaded guilty to assault with criminal negligence.
The New York State Thruway Authority will install signs designating the bridge the "Trooper Joseph Gallagher Memorial Bridge."