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Off-duty New York officer dead in fatal accident

An off-duty NYPD detective was tragically killed when a suspected drunk driver struck his vehicle, according to local sources. The fatal accident happened early on Feb. 27, and apparently involved only the two vehicles. The driver of the other car was also seriously injured when first responders got him out of his vehicle, and he is currently undergoing treatment as well as being investigated for potential intoxication. No formal charges have been filed by New York authorities. 

Apparently, the other driver had been traveling the wrong way on the Sprain Brook Parkway for several miles when the head-on collision occurred. The force of the impact launched the car driven by the 46-year-old police veteran into the air and over the guard rail. He is believed to have been killed on impact. 

First responders had to use the jaws of life to extricate both men from their vehicles. Some of these responders reported that the other driver, a 53-year-old man, appeared to be intoxicated when he was extricated from the vehicle. A bag of what is believed to be marijuana was also found inside his vehicle. Police are currently waiting on blood samples to determine whether he was drunk or high at the time of the crash. 

If the preliminary evidence of intoxication with regard to the fatal accident is confirmed by investigators, criminal charges may follow. However, even if a criminal case does not result, New York law allows the family of the deceased detective to file a wrongful death suit against the suspected drunk driver in civil court. Should sufficient evidence be provided to prove his negligence in the accident, he could be required to pay financial remuneration to the family for the damages sustained.

Source: New York Post, “NYPD detective dead after car crash with wrong-way driver“, Shawn Cohen, Feb. 27, 2015