NYPD continue investigation of fatal wrong-way crash in Staten Island

By Clarissa Hawes, Land Line staff writer | Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Investigators are still trying to piece together the cause of a fatal wrong-way crash involving a carload of three off-duty New Jersey police officers, as well as one civilian, who hit a tractor-trailer head-on early Friday, March 20, in Staten Island, N.Y.

Authorities say the four men, including three off-duty police officers from Linden, N.J., were on their way home from a Staten Island strip club early Friday. Investigators say Linden Police Officer Pedro Abad, 27, turned his Honda Civic the wrong way onto the West Shore Expressway, crashing into the tractor-trailer.

Abad, along with Patrik Kudlac, 23, also an officer with the Linden Police Department, are listed in critical condition. Frank Viggiano, 28, a Linden police officer, and Joe Rodriguez, also 28, were killed in the crash.

Captain James Sarnicki of the Linden Police Department, whose officers were involved in the crash, did not comment on the ongoing investigation. Instead, he deferred comment to the New York Police Department, which is investigating the fatal wreck.

Detective Martin Speechley, a New York Police Department spokesman, said the name of the truck driver, who was injured in the crash, has not been released. He told Land Line he did not have the name of the trucking company the driver worked for, only that the tractor-trailer was registered in Pennsylvania.

The Lancaster Online is reporting that the injured truck driver, 33, from Manheim, Penn., worked for Snavely’s Mill, headquartered near Lititz, Penn.

The Associated Press is reporting that hours before the head-on collision, Abad posted a photo on his Instagram page of three shot glasses filled with “Jack Daniels Fire on the house.”

As of press time Monday, March 23, Speechley said investigators are awaiting the results of Abad’s blood alcohol test.

“I don’t think there will be any updates at this point, unless when the blood alcohol (results) comes back there is a reason to move forward with prosecution,” he told Land Line.

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