DATE/TIME: Monday, April 12th, 2004 / 04:30 AM

Chief Michael Geraci regretfully announces the line-of-duty death of 30-year-old Patrol Officer Eric Verteramo, a 5 ˝-year veteran of the Department, who died late last night from injuries he sustained when the patrol car he was driving struck a utility pole while responding to a motorcycle–pedestrian accident earlier in the evening.

At about 7:10 p.m. last night, Officer Verteramo was responding from Bellvue to a motorcycle–pedestrian accident at State and Furman Streets. While northbound on Broadway, about 500 feet north of Lower Broadway, Officer Verteramo – for reasons unknown at this time – failed to negotiate a curve and struck a utility pole across from 824 Broadway. Schenectady Police and Fire Communications received several calls about the crash, and dispatched police and rescue personnel to the scene. Officer Veteramo was extricated from the vehicle by Schenectady Fire Department personnel and rushed to Ellis Hospital with head and upper-body trauma. A short time later, Officer Verteramo was airlifted by Med Flight to Albany Medical Center for further treatment. At 11:33 p.m., Officer Verteramo died from his injuries.

Service arrangements for Officer Verteramo are undetermined at this time. Details will be released when they become available.

Officer Verteramo is the 9th Schenectady Police Officer to die while serving the people of the City since the Department was established in 1870. He joined the Department on September 13, 1998, and most recently was assigned to the Bellvue section of the City on the 4 p.m.–12 a.m. shift.

Officer Verteramo’s family requests that the media respect their privacy during this very difficult time, and that attempts to contact them not be made.

Officer Verteramo’s accident is under investigation, and no other information about it is available at this time.

Information about the accident Officer Verteramo was responding to will be available later today.

The Department would like to extend its sincerest appreciation and gratitude to the personnel of the Schenectady Fire Department, Mohawk Ambulance, Ellis Hospital, Med Flight and Albany Medical Center, for their valiant efforts in treating Officer Verteramo.

The Department would like to thank the Albany Police Department for its strong showing of support to the members of our Department who had converged on Albany Med, as well as the officers from other Capital District police departments who were present. We are also grateful for the support given to us by the staff of Albany Med.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Verteramo family. Eric served the Department and the community well. He died in an effort to help others. He was a very likable person who will be greatly missed. We are grateful to have known him – he will be fondly remembered.