A New York Metropolis police officer died after being hit by an intoxicated driver early Tuesday on the Lengthy Island Expressway, officers stated.
The officer, Anastasios Tsakos, 43, was hit round 2 a.m. after being assigned to divert site visitors from the freeway by exit 26, close to the Recent Meadows neighborhood of Queens, the police commissioner stated.
The driving force, whom the police recognized as Jessica Beauvais of Hempstead, N.Y., was underneath the affect and driving with a suspended license when she veered whereas touring eastbound and struck the officer head on.
Ms. Beauvais, 32, faces a number of costs together with vehicular manslaughter, reckless endangerment and driving whereas intoxicated. Officers stated that her automotive was extensively broken with a shattered windshield.
Mr. Tsakos had been assigned to the freeway after a separate crash round 12:30 a.m., when a car struck a utility pole. One individual was killed in that crash, and Mr. Tsakos was among the many officers guiding site visitors away from the world, stated the police commissioner, Dermot F. Shea.
After hitting Mr. Tsakos along with her automotive whereas he stood within the roadway, Ms. Beauvais left the scene, officers stated. She was later arrested, and it was not instantly clear whether or not she had a lawyer. Mr. Tsakos was taken to NewYork-Presbyterian Queens Hospital in important situation, the place he died.
Mr. Tsakos, a 14-year member of the division, was married and the daddy of two youngsters, who’re 3 and 6 years previous, officers stated. Mr. Shea known as Mr. Tsakos an “extraordinarily extremely regarded member” of his freeway unit. Different officers, he added, described him as “an individual who would by no means ask, ‘Why?’ — simply ‘What do you want performed?’”
“This can be a very, very painful second,” Mayor Invoice de Blasio stated. Mr. Tsakos’s youngsters, he stated, “won’t ever see their father once more as a result of anyone did the mistaken factor.”
Mr. Tsakos is the primary New York Metropolis police officer to be killed whereas on responsibility this 12 months.
A New York State trooper additionally died this month from head accidents he sustained throughout a crash on the Lengthy Island Expressway in 2017. The trooper, Joseph Gallagher, was organising emergency flares for a car that had damaged down close to an exit within the Commack space of Suffolk County when officers stated he was hit by a driver who was texting.
Even because the pandemic eased site visitors congestion, the variety of lethal automotive crashes rose considerably final 12 months in New York Metropolis. No less than 243 individuals died in site visitors crashes in 2020, the deadliest 12 months because the mayor launched a plan to enhance avenue security throughout his first 12 months in workplace.
The identical development was noticed nationwide, and the Nationwide Freeway Site visitors Security Administration stated that elevated alcohol and drug consumption in the course of the pandemic appeared to issue into many crashes.
Many of the deadly crashes final 12 months in New York Metropolis concerned drivers touring at excessive speeds, usually late at night time and on highways exterior Manhattan, officers stated.
“It’s a reminder that there needs to be a relentless, continued effort to make sure extra penalties for individuals who drive underneath the affect, for individuals who drive recklessly,” Mr. de Blasio stated on Tuesday. “We’ve misplaced somebody immediately and we’ve misplaced so many others — and it has to finish.”
Christina Goldbaum contributed reporting.