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Dog-Caused Fatal Motorcycle Accident


On July 4th, 2023 Utica Police and Utica Fire units were dispatched to Route 12 N near the Oriskany St exit regarding a motorcycle accident involving serious physical injury.

Upon arrival, they located the involved individual, identified as Justin Knaperek age 43 of Clinton, NY, in the roadway. Sadly, Knaperek, was pronounced deceased immediately. With the assistance of the New York State Department of Transportation, Route 12 was shut down for several hours while the Utica Police Department Accident Reconstruction Team investigated the accident.

Preliminarily it appears that Knaperek was traveling northbound on Route 12 when a dog entered the roadway contributing to Knaperek and the motorcycle striking a side barrier resulting in the crash. The investigation is still early, and any other contributing factors will be determined through the reconstruction and witness interviews.

We offer our sincerest thoughts and prayers to Knaperek’s family during this difficult time. We would also like to acknowledge the passing motorists that stopped in an effort to render aid to Knaperek.

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