The mother of an 11-year-old Brooklyn girl who was killed in a crash three days before Christmas during a state trooper’s pursuit has filed papers to take legal action against the state.
Lawyers for Michelle Surrency allege state Trooper Christopher Baldner, 40, to have killed young Monica Goods on December 22 by rear-ending an SUV driven by the child’s dad, Tristin Goods.
The police report also confirms Baldner’s vehicle striking into Goods’ 2017 Dodge Journey, forcing it into a guardrail where it flipped and rolled. Monica died at the scene.
Baldner, an 18-year veteran of the force, pulled over the elder Goods for accelerating on Interstate 87 about 11:45 p.m. in the upstate town of Ulster. The two argued, and Baldner inexplicably fired pepper spray into Goods’ car, hitting the dad, his girlfriend April, and both Monica and her 12-year-old sister Tristina, the claim states.
In the aftermath of the fatal crash, state troopers, instead of taking the injured Tristina to the hospital, hauled her into their barracks, where she was questioned for hours and her statement recorded without her mother being present, Surrency alleges.
“It was outrageous,” said Surrency, 30. “They questioned her before they informed me what happened. I should have been there. I had to come from New York City to the (barracks) to take my baby to the hospital.”
Tristina sustained head, neck, and back injuries in the car crash and was also in pain because of the pepper spray, the papers claim.
Surrency’s lawyer, Sanford Rubenstein, said the suit alleging reckless negligence will be submitted in the state Court of Claims.
Goods has not been charged by Ulster County prosecutors as of yet for almost three months after the crash.
The state Attorney General’s office is investigating the incident.