Official: speeder in Charity case was officer

The I-390 speeder who was pursued by a state police officer after the officer pulled over a Geneseo student who was then killed in a hit-and-run was a Dansville Village Police officer, a senior Dansville village official has told The Lamron.

According to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, the state police officer who ticketed Geneseo student Kaitlin Charity in the early morning hours of Oct. 20 sped off to chase off-duty Dansville Village Police officer Jeff Faugh, who the official said was driving over 90 miles per hour.

Charity then went onto the highway, where she was struck and killed.

"It has been brought to the Village Board's attention that this has occurred, and it is being investigated," the village official said. "When we get the results of the investigation, we will take appropriate actions."

According to Dansville Village Police Chief Charles Perkins, the state trooper left to chase another violator after issuing Charity a ticket.

"That may have been an off-duty police officer employed by the Village of Dansville," said Perkins. "My obligation is to research that and determine if that is factual, and if it is factual, figure out if it has any bearing on the officer's employment."

Perkins stressed that he will wait to investigate Faugh's situation until the Charity investigation is complete.

Faugh was reached at his home, and declined to comment.

Dansville Mayor Bill Dixon, reached by phone, also declined to comment because the village is currently investigating the situation.

According to the Dansville official, Faugh was interviewed by the Livingston County Sheriff's Department after the accident. Efforts yesterday to reach the Sheriff's Department after The Lamron received the additional information about Faugh were unsuccessful.

Efforts to secure information from the state police were also unsuccessful.

Three vehicles allegedly hit Charity in the early morning hours of Oct. 20. The vehicles in question have all been impounded, according to the Sheriff's Department. The drivers of the cars, who have all said they did not realize they hit Charity, may face criminal charges.

"We consider this an open pending investigation and are actively working [alongside] New York State Police and the Livingston County District Attorney," said Livingston County Sheriff John York earlier this week.

Authorities are currently planning to present their case against the drivers to a Livingston County grand jury. Because the investigation is continuing, no charges have yet been filed. There is no date for when the grand jury may convene.

Once the case is presented, the jury will have to decide whether or not to charge the drivers. According to York, in cases of this type, whether or not each driver will be charged depends on their awareness of the accident at the time and their subsequent actions.

At least two of the drivers in question claim they believed they had hit a deer.

Investigation has revealed that after the accident, the driver of the semi-truck - the first vehicle to strike Charity - briefly pulled over to fix a leaking fuel line caused by the impact and later stopped to wash his truck before continuing to his destination, a Wegman's grocery store in Gates, just west of Rochester. A second driver involved in the accident also stopped in Geneseo to wash off debris.