By JENNIFER HILL • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
ONEONTA – The 23-year-old killed upon crashing his car head-on into Deputy Sheriff Jim Mateunas’ cruiser in Springfield Center Tuesday afternoon likely did it deliberately, BCI Capt. Scott Heggelke, Troop C, said this afternoon at a joint press conference with Sheriff Richard J. Devlin, Jr.
Matthew E. All had led state police on a high-speed chase, which ended at the intersection of 20 and 80 when his Buick LaCrosse collided with the sheriff’s 2017 Chevy Tacoma with Mateunas inside. The impact was so great it sent the cruiser flying at least 200 feet.
All died of “multiple blunt force injuries,” Heggelke said, and both of Mateunas’ legs were broken from the crash. That it was an SUV with four-wheel drive probably prevented more serious injuries, he said.
Sheriff Devlin said Mateunas is in stable condition at Bassett Hospital, resting comfortably, but “had a long road to recovery.”
The incident began when All ran across a former co-worker – Robin Church, reported earlier on AllOTSEGO.com – who had recently reported he had harassed her. All began following Church’s car in Cherry Valley, and she drove to the Richard Springs State Police Barracks.
At 2:33 p.m., her husband called the barracks, saying she was on the phone with him, and she was in the State Police Barracks’ driveway.
All “was then able to persuade the woman” to talk “in a more public location,” and they drove west on Route 20 to Richfield Springs High School. It was there that All “sideswiped her vehicle and struck it” with his fist, putting a dent in the driver’s side-door. He also “pulled a knife on her,” Heggelke said.
Troopers Carl Burdick and Travis Carney responded to the husband’s call and located the cars in front of the high school. “They approached the car Mr. All was in,” Heggelke said. “He asked them, ‘Am I going to be arrested?’ Then, he took off, made a U-turn, and went eastbound on Route 20 toward Springfield.”
The pursuit ensued, beginning at 2:37 p.m. The troopers “followed all state police protocol,” according to Heggelke. They radioed “to see if anyone was in the Springfield area,” and Mateunas was. As All approached, Mateunas “was sitting stationary in the lane of traffic at the intersection of Route 20 and State Route 80 facing westbound as they were coming eastbound.”
The troopers asked if Mateunas had “any spike strips” that would have punctured All’s vehicle’s tires if he drove over them. Heggelke did not say whether spike strips or any other barrier had been placed at the intersection.
Matthew McIvor, both an eyewitness of All’s altercation with the woman and an EMS called to the scene, said All’s speed was estimated at 115 mph.
At 2:42, an ambulance was called, but All was “dead on arrival.”
The crash is still under investigation, but evidence points to All deliberately colliding his vehicle with Mateunas’. Heggelke’s “collision reconstruction unit” has not found “markings on the road…tire marks on the pavement and ‘yaw marks,’ where the tires have suddenly swerved,” Heggelke said.
A data recorder recovered from the scene, most likely from Mateunas’ vehicle, is being downloaded, which will reveal more details about the collision.
Mateunas’ vehicle did not have a dashboard cam video-recording the incident, but Heggelke said “a video-recording of the collision was made from a local business.”