Last October, a series of auto accidents on the Long Island Expressway (L.I.E.) caused the death of a respected Nassau County police officer. The driver responsible for the tragic pileup is now facing increased criminal charges, according to the Nassau County District Attorney’s office.
The circumstances leading to the officer’s death began when James Ryan, 26, allegedly drove drunk on the L.I.E. Ryan crashed his Toyota into a BMW, but continued driving east on the expressway. He soon collided with a Honda Civic, leaving both vehicles disabled in the high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane.
The now-deceased officer responded to the car accident, trying to prevent more vehicles from crashing into the Honda and Toyota, but a third-vehicle hit Ryan’s Toyota. The impact sent the vehicle into the officer, who died from the injuries.
Ryan, who registered 0.13 percent blood-alcohol content, is facing aggravated vehicular homicide, manslaughter, aggravated vehicular assault, criminally negligent homicide and driving while intoxicated.
In addition to criminal charges, Ryan will likely have to defend himself in a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the deceased officer’s family.
Source: CBS New York, “DA: Charges Upgraded Against Driver In L.I.E. Crash That Killed Nassau County Cop,” April 10, 2013