A tragic crash on the Long Island Expressway the night of May 23 has left two people dead, according to local sources. Apparently, an off-duty New York City police officer struck two people who had exited a vehicle involved in an earlier car accident. So far, no charges have been filed against anyone involved in the crash.
According to the report, a disabled vehicle carrying four young people was stopped in the high-occupancy vehicle lane of the Long Island Expressway around 11:00 p.m. All four individuals had exited the vehicle to survey the damage when an off-duty officer driving an SUV rounded the curve and entered the lane. The officer struck the disabled vehicle as well as the driver, a 20-year-old man, and an 18-year-old passenger.
Both the driver and the passenger were killed in the collision. Two other passengers suffered minor injuries and so did the off-duty officer. The extent of their injuries have not been reported at this time. Police say alcohol was not a factor in the crash, and they are not likely to pursue charges against the officer involved.
Even though charges will probably not be filed, the families of the deceased as well as the injured parties may still have legal recourse available to them. New York law states that in the case of a car accident, personal injury and wrongful death suits can be filed against the driver deemed responsible for the crash, even if criminality is not suspected. While a criminal charge can help lend credence to a civil suit of this nature, it is not mandatory for such a suit to be filed.
Source: NBC New York, “Off-Duty NYPD Cop Hits Disabled Car on Long Island Expressway, Killing 2: Police, Sources“, Jonathan Dienst, May 24, 2016