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A Saratoga County Deputy was cleared of wrongdoing in an accident that killed a Skidmore College student. Robert Swatling was traveling on the Route 50 arterial in Saratoga Springs when he hit Skidmore senior Phillip Eckstein who was walking on the highway despite the fact that it is closed to pedestrians. Swatling was returning from a routine patrol and did not have any drugs, medications or alcohol in his system.

According to

“There is no lighting at that intersection other than the traffic signal,” District Attorney James A. Murphy III said Monday. “It is very dark.”

The city, the electric company and the state Department of Transportation have been talking for months about who has responsibility for the lights on Route 50, both at the arterial and south of town near the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

There are no set plans for getting the lights working, according to all three parties.

Murphy said Swatling, who’d been checking car dealerships as part of his regular patrol, looked up to the green light at Route 50 and Gick to see only a wall of rain. Eckstein was wearing dark clothing.

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