Northville police officer dies in accident

NORTHAMPTON — An off-duty village of Northville police officer was killed when he was struck by a car Monday night on Route 30 while trying to assist with a deer accident in the town.

The Fulton County Sheriff’s Department today reported Robert J. Johnson, 60, of Mayfield, was a pedestrian and was killed in the accident at 10:43 p.m., south of Pine Avenue.

The Washington County motorist whose car struck him was tested for drugs and alcohol and not charged.

Sheriff Richard Giardino said today that he had known Johnson as a “good friend” for 30 years and presided over his wedding as a judge. He said the victim was a longtime retired Gloversville police officer, who had also previously worked part-time as a sheriff’s deputy. The victim also worked previously as a federal security officer in Albany.

“He was off duty,” Giardino said. “He got off at 10 p.m. We got a call there was a car deer accident just south of the Northville Bridge.”

According to the sheriff’s office report, driver Joseph M. Winnie, 25, of 8 Geer Road, Trailer 54, Hudson Falls, was northbound on Route 30. He stated he observed vehicles in the southbound shoulder of the road because of the deer accident, and moved towards the shoulder of his lane to avoid anything in the road.

Deputies said vehicles were parked there because of an accident between a vehicle and deer. The report said Johnson had stopped to assist in dispatching the deer, which was still alive.

Giardino said Johnson had his service revolver out and was walking north on Route 30 to shoot the deer. While Johnson was in the area of the northbound lane fog line, he was struck by the front right of Winnie’s 2009 Forrester.

“He mistakenly hit, struck and killed Bob Johnson,” Giardino said.

The report said he was taken to Nathan Littauer Hospital, where he was pronounced dead from his injuries just after midnight today.

“Bobby comes from a family of officers,” Giardino said.

He said his brother and nephew are in law enforcement.

“He was a good guy,” Giardino said. “He was an old school officer who tried to help people.”

The sheriff thanked Northville and Edinburg ambulance personnel and civilians who assisted at the scene.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at [email protected]

By Patricia Older

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