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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, February 25, 2010

Herkimer County man turns himself in
Guilderland woman struck and killed on the Thruway

By Anne Hayden

GUILDERLAND — Twenty-one-year-old Guilderland High School graduate Jamie Klemczak was killed on Saturday, Feb. 20, when she was hit by a car near Exit 30 on the Thruway, in the town of German Flatts.

A Syracuse University student, slated to graduate this year, she was on her way home to Townwood Drive in Guilderland. It was snowing at 4:30 a.m. on Saturday, when her car slid off the road in the eastbound lanes, and got stuck in the median, according to police; Klemczak got out of her car and was in the westbound lanes when she was hit by a passing car.

Her funeral was Tuesday in Troy. Her family wrote in an obituary that Klemczak was a Women’s Studies major, active in social issues. She volunteered in a rape crisis center in Syracuse.

State Police were looking for a silver Toyota Camry, from the years 2007 to 2009, with bumper damage, and were calling the accident a hit-and-run.

On Sunday, a 49-year-old Herkimer County man came forward and told police he thought he might have been the person responsible for Klemczak’s death, after he heard about the incident on the news.

The man, whose name has not yet been released by police, immediately contacted his attorney, George Aney. Aney said that his client told him he had been driving on the Thruway early Saturday morning, returning from a trip to Massachusetts, when he felt a thud.

It was snowing at the time, the driver and his passenger did not see anything on the road, and assumed they had hit an animal, Aney said. His client thought the animal had run off, but, when he got home, he noticed that a piece of the bumper on his silver Toyota was missing, the lawyer said.

When he heard the report from the State Police the next day, and realized his car fit the description, he turned himself in.

“There is really no question that he was involved,” said Aney. There has been no arrest at this point, and, Aney said, the police investigation is ongoing, although it has been determined that drugs and alcohol were not factors in the incident.

“This man is a decent person. His reaction to this whole thing is…indescribable. It’s weighing heavily on him,” Aney concluded.

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