MA Drivers Also Remember A Scary & Horrific Crime On A NY Highway
Massachusetts drivers will also agree that Interstate 88 in neighboring New York is truly one of the most desolate and barren highways that encompasses over 120 miles of territory between Rotterdam and Binghamton, New York. Sometimes, you can't wait to hit the nearest exit just to take a break from this mundane drive in The Empire State.(present company included)
That stretch of road is also a paradise for speeders as State Troopers are not patrolling the area as it's neighboring counterpart, The New York State Thruway. If only that was the case as you continue to read this article. This scary event jogs the memory of Bay State motorists who also remember a dark moment that occurred on this site which resulted in the death of an innocent woman over three decades ago.
Although the ride has plenty of rural settings and the surroundings are panoramic in nature, I-88 was also the sight of a horrific and despicable crime that still stands in my mind as this incident occurred during my days when I was working in Albany at K-LITE 101. After working 3rd shift, I saw that all the local news stations led their broadcasts with the untimely and unnecessary death of an Owego, New York woman who entrusted herself to a "so-called" Good Samaritan who had other sickening intentions which led to her premature demise.
(Photo image courtesy of www.findagrave.com)
Back in July of 1991, Diane L. Hoppert was en-route to Albany as she planned to attend a work oriented seminar in New York's capital city. Her vehicle ran out of gas at mile marker 107 on the northbound side of the highway in the town of Duanesburg. A Michigan truck driver approached her under the guise of coming to aid in the matter, but that was NOT the case as they entered his truck cab, he then proceeded to kidnap, rob and rape the 48 year old woman as she was also sexually assaulted and ironically proceeded to drive the opposite direction of going southbound on the highway before dumping her bound and naked corpse from a bridge overpass in Sanitaria Springs, just north of Binghamton.
Police found Diane Hoppert on a desolate set of train tracks but she succumbed to her injuries hours later at a hospital in Johnson City, New York. The crime became a homicide as authorities in Michigan were quick to arrest Alex Vega of Lansing and the suspect was extradited to New York. A jury sentenced him to 44 years to life in prison for his unspeakable and gross crime as the victim's family members felt he should get the death penalty. Vega is currently serving time at The Elmira Correctional Facility as the attacker showed no remorse towards his actions.
The jury was sickened by this heinous crime as they made sure Vega will not seek parole during his incarceration. His first hearing won't take place until he turns 71 (let's safely say he is in the big house for the remainder of his life). He committed the crime because he feared his victim would testify against him, therefore putting the former Sunday school teacher in this nightmarish ordeal during the final moments of her life.
BOTTOM LINE: Beware of your surroundings and trust NO ONE who you feel can be suspicious in nature. Play it safe and call 9-1-1 or your auto club as they can provide the much-needed assistance in a crisis of this nature. Take some time and say a prayer for Diane Hoppert as her memory to this day remains eternal and everlasting.
(Some information obtained in this article courtesy of https://www.newspapers.com/article/press-and-sun-bulletin/16147466/