Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday directed flags to fly at half-staff at all state government buildings in honor of a state Department of Transportation employee who died Monday.
Dennis "Matt" Howe, of Owego, was the driver of a state vehicle that was struck by a tractor-trailer attempting to pass Wednesday morning on Route 17 westbound near exit 63 in the town of Nichols, Tioga County. Department of Transportation workers were conducting maintenance work at the time of the crash.
Howe was seriously injured in the crash and transported to Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, Pennsylvania, according to the Tioga County Sheriff's Office. He died at the hospital Monday.
Cuomo remembered Howe, a state Department of Transportation employee since 2006, as a "jack of all trades" who was eager to help his coworkers.
"His death is a tragic reminder of the dangers our workers face every day braving the elements and our roadways, all while looking out for the safety of one another," Cuomo said. "There is nothing routine about what our maintenance forces do to keep New York's highways safe, and we have zero tolerance for anyone who fragrantly puts the lives and safety of our workers in jeopardy."
The Tioga County Sheriff's Office ticketed the driver of the tractor-trailer, Lawrence E. Faucett, 37, of Ulster, Pennsylvania, for moving from lane unsafely and failure to exercise due care. The latter was a violation of the state's Move Over Law.
The sheriff's office said last week that the investigation is ongoing.