Herkimer County woman dies after car hit during police pursuit

A Herkimer County woman is dead after the car she was driving was hit by a man trying to evade police.

The crash happened just before 11 a.m. Thursday along State Route 5 at Paratore Road in the Town of Schuyler, Herkimer County.

Gail Pietruska, 65, of Frankfort, was struck by a car driven by Daniel Conklin, 24, of Rochester, according to State Police.

Police say Conklin refused to pull over after he was speeding through a school zone. During the police pursuit, Conklin got into a fight with Rebecca Mento, who was in the front passenger seat, and forced her out of the car while he continued to drive, according to police.

Shortly after, Conklin crashed into Pietruska, forcing her car off the road. Pietruska had to be cut from her car.

She was transported to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Utica and then transferred to Upstate University Hospital where she was listed in critical condition. She later died from her injuries.

The passenger in the Pietruska's car, Louise Medallis, 54, was transported by ambulance to St. Elizabeth Hospital for a back injury.

Conklin was taken to Upstate University Hospital for internal injuries and was listed in stable condition. He is being held on a violation of parole warrant while further criminal action is pending.

Mento was transported by ambulance to St. Elizabeth Hospital for minor injuries.