MCSO: Deputy’s actions did not cause or contribute to death of teen in car crash

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EAST ROCHESTER, N.Y. An investigation by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and the State Attorney General has concluded that a deputy’s actions did not contribute to the death of a teenager last fall.

17-year Clark Palen, a student at the Aquinas Institute of Rochester was killed after he lost control of his car on Bluff Drive in East Rochester.

This fatal crash happened in the early morning of Nov. 5, and one of the issues at the time involved a caller who called police claiming to see the deputy driving away from the site of the crash.

The Sheriff’s Office reported that Palen was speeding and driving with his headlights off when a deputy tried to follow his car. Palen failed to negotiate the “S” turn in the middle of Bluff Drive near Linden Avenue.

Palen crashed into a tree which then fell on his car. Undersheriff Korey Brown tells us the deputy never saw the car since its lights were not on and it was now covered by the tree as he passed it.

Brown says now that the investigation is complete, the unidentified deputy, who has been cleared of any wrongdoing, is now back on the road.

“He is a member of ‘A’ Zone, and so he’s back working his shift,” said Brown. “When this originally happened and we weren’t sure exactly what was going on we did move him to administrative duty just to take him off the road while we notified the Attorney General about what occurred and that the young man died in the car accident, and so while we investigated that he was off the road.”

Although the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office is quite satisfied with the conclusion of the investigation, Brown says the office continues to send its condolences to the Palen family.