• Cruelty to children charge follows crash
     | November 19,2013

    STRAFFORD — A Fairlee man who allegedly left the scene of an accident that totaled his car, seriously injured his two young sons, and broke his wrist is facing multiple charges, including cruelty to children, state police said Sunday.

    The announcement capped a five-day investigation into an accident that was first reported shortly after 11:30 p.m. last Tuesday, when a caller advised that a car had skidded off a snow-covered section of Swamp Road in Strafford and slammed into a tree. Police responded to the scene, but the car that police later learned was allegedly driven by 40-year-old Justin Galenski was already gone.

    It wasn’t until the next day when police received a call from Emily Harvey, the mother of Galenski’s sons, ages 9 and 4, that they began what was described as a “thorough investigation” into the accident.

    According to police, Harvey called to report injuries her sons had sustained in a car accident while with Galenski the previous evening. The boys suffered concussions and a collection of broken bones, bumps and bruises, according to Harvey, who claimed Galenski did not seek medical attention for them until the morning after the crash.

    Police then interviewed Galenski, who they say admitted to being involved in the accident and walking with his sons to the home of a friend, Rachel Kendall, about 1.5 miles from where the crash occurred.

    According to police, Galenski claimed that Kendall, a registered nurse, assessed the children’s injuries before he decided that they were not serious or life-threatening.

    Following an investigation during which police located the car, a 1999 Honda Accord Coupe that was totaled in the accident, police said they cited Galenski for multiple charges, including leaving the scene of an accident, reckless endangerment, cruelty to children, negligent operation and violating the conditions of release from a previous domestic assault charge.

    Galenski is scheduled to be arraigned on the new charges on Dec. 11 at the criminal courthouse in Chelsea, police said.

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