Fulton County sheriff: Ticket likely in fatal crash that killed recent Johnstown High grad

Then-Johnstown High School students Haley Case, left, and Abby Van Valkenburgh had their faces painted for a rally on June 19, 2019 in the High School auditorium to help raise donations to keep the sports program. PETER R. BARBER/THE LEADER-HERALD

TOWN OF JOHNSTOWN — Fulton County Sheriff Richard Giardino on Monday said at least one ticket will likely be issued to Daniel Markopoulos, 63, of Amsterdam, the driver of the Montgomery County Department of Public Works vehicle that collided with a car driven by 18-year-old Haley Case on Friday, resulting in her death.

Giardino said the investigation is still ongoing, but described Markopoulos as “very cooperative.”

“We have ruled out that Haley was texting or talking,” Giardino said in a statement sent via text message Monday. “There was no service in that area, and we have reviewed her cell phone and no calls or texts for hours before accident.”

Case was 2021 graduate of Johnstown High School and a resident of New Turnpike Road.

Giardino has described the accident as occurring when Markopoulos was driving a DPW dump truck vehicle eastbound through the intersection of Routes 116 and 67 when he attempted to take a left hand turn onto Route 116 heading north and struck Case’s westbound vehicle on the driver’s side.

Giardino said a call reporting the accident was logged-in at the Fulton County 911 dispatcher at 6:58 a.m. and a Lake Valley EMS vehicle [formerly known as the Greater Amsterdam Volunteer Ambulance Corps.] arrived “within 5 minutes.” Giardino said Case was transported to Nathan Littauer Hospital “after 7:30 a.m.” where she was ultimately pronounced dead.

Giardino said after the accident occurred Markopoulos contacted his Montgomery County DPW dispatcher to report the accident. Giardino said he’s uncertain whether Markopoulos used his vehicle radio or a cell phone that did have service in that area to make the contact. He said the Montgomery County DPW dispatcher then, “called back to determine location. By then 911 had been called.”

Help us bring news to you, check out our subscribe page at: Leader-Herald Subscribe

On Friday, Giardino said there were no signs that drugs or alcohol played a role in the accident, although toxicology samples were collected that will be processed as part of the investigation.

On Monday, Giardino did not have an approximate time for when the accident took place or when Markopoulos contacted his dispatcher. He said “multiple calls” were made to Fulton County’s 911 dispatch center, but Markopoulos himself did not place one of those calls. He said more information about the accident will be released when his office finishes its formal report, which will likely happen today.

Montgomery County officials Monday said Markopoulos had been on his way to pick up materials to be used by the Montgomery County Dept. of Public Works.

“We are deeply saddened by Friday’s incident,” Montgomery County Executive Matthew L. Ossenfort said in a released statement Monday. “This is a tragedy for all involved and we offer our deepest sympathies to the families affected. We are gathering information while supporting the law enforcement investigation. Our number one priority is safety and our team is devoting all of our available resources into obtaining all the details pertaining to this occurrence.”

A death notice for Haley Case published in The Leader-Herald indicates that calling hours for Haley’s friends will be held from 4-7 p.m. Tuesday at the Robert M. Halgas Funeral Home, located at 111 County Highway 106, on the corner of Black Street and Route 29, in Johnstown.

A mass of Christian burial will be conducted on Wednesday at 10 a.m. at the Church of the Holy Spirit in Gloversville.

Help us bring news to you, check out our subscribe page at: Leader-Herald Subscribe

By Paul Wager