The local area is mourning the loss of a young Hudson Valley police officer.

Detectives from the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office are investigating a fatal motor vehicle accident that occurred in the Town of Gardiner.

On Tuesday just before 11 a.m., members of the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a serious motor vehicle accident at Bruynswick Road and Route 44/55 in the Town of Gardiner.

A preliminary investigation revealed that a 2013 Harley-Davidson motorcycle operated by 31-year-old Dustin James of Middletown collided with a 2011 Toyota Camry driven by 19-year-old Alejandra Rodas-Perez of Bloomingburg, police say.

James, an off-duty Village of Walden police officer, was transported by ambulance to Mid-Hudson Regional Hospital and subsequently succumbed to his injuries.

“Officer James was an exceptional Police Officer that excelled at his job, Walden Village Police stated. “ His many contributions to both departments are too numerous to list. He had compassion for others, a sense of humor and an attention to detail. Officer James was loved by all who had the pleasure to know him and work with him over the years. There was nothing that Officer James would not do for his fellow brother or sister. Officer James will be deeply missed by his family and friends here at the Village of Walden and Village of Montgomery Police Departments."

James joined the Village of Walden Police Department on January 2007. He was posthumously promoted to the rank of Investigator with the Village of Walden Police Department.

James is survived by his wife Maryellen James.

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