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Report: Driver ‘extremely impaired’ by heroin before car crash

03/03/2016 4:10 PM |

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The driver who allegedly collided head-on with a Riverhead police sergeant’s vehicle while high on drugs is being held on $10,000 bail after pleading not guilty to misdemeanor charges, according to town court documents.

Jeremy Rosendahl, 37, of East Quogue was “extremely impaired by drugs” when his 2011 Jeep Liberty crossed into the westbound lane just east of Mill Road and struck a marked Riverhead Town Police vehicle driven by Sgt. Tim Palmer, according to court and police reports.

Dixon Palmer, a Riverhead police officer and Sgt. Palmer’s brother, said Mr. Rosendahl had nearly struck several other cars before colliding with Sgt. Palmers vehicle.

“Luckily, they weren’t going super fast when it happened,” Officer Palmer said.

According to criminal charges filed against Mr. Rosendahl, the driver was “extremely lethargic” and mumbled during interviews with police after the accident. Mr. Rosendahl was also “repeatedly nodding off” while he spoke with detectives, the charges state. According to the criminal complaint against him, Mr. Rosendahl admitted he had been using drugs before the crash. Police said they found a hypodermic needle and several heroin packets in the driver’s compartment of his vehicle.

Ambulance personnel treated Mr. Rosendahl with Narcan before transporting him to Peconic Bay Medical Center, where he was arrested following treatment. He was charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs, seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument and additional vehicle and traffic violations.

Riverhead police confirmed Sgt. Palmer was treated for minor injuries and released from PBMC, police said. Officer Palmer said his brother was doing well one day after the crash.

He’s okay,” Officer Palmer said. “He’s just really sore.”

Mr. Rosendahl was arraigned before Justice Allen Smith in Riverhead Thursday morning and ordered held on bail. He is due back in court Friday, a court clerk said.

Mr. Rosendahl had been arrested at least twice before on drug charges following traffic stops in Southampton Town, according to prior police reports.

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