Three off-duty New Jersey police officers were in a fatal head-on collision after leaving a strip club in New York. The three officers, along with a friend, were driving the wrong way down a highway when they hit a tractor trailer head-on. One of the officers, and the civilian friend, were killed in the accident. The two other officers are in critical condition and the tractor trailer driver, a New York firefighter, had injuries that were not considered life-threatening.
The Daily Mail reports that the name of the individuals involved in the accident have now been released. Officer Frank Viggiano and civilian Joseph Rodriquez, both 28-years-old, were the two individuals killed in the horrific accident. The driver of the Honda Civic was 27-year-old driver Pedro Abad Jr. and the other critically injured passenger was Officer Patrick Kudlac.
In the initial report, NYPD investigating the case said that they did not smell alcohol in the car or find any open containers. However, they did procure a warrant to test Abad’s blood alcohol level. It is unknown at this time if alcohol was a factor in the crash. However, it appears that earlier in the night, the driver was posting photos of shots of whiskey to his Instagram account.
Officer Pedro Abad Jr., who was driving the car, posted a photo of three shots of bourbon just a few hours before the deadly collision.
The caption on the photo indicated that Pedro was spending the evening prior to the collision with two other friends as he says “the three of us” are “decent people.”
“Jack Daniels Fire on the house. I’m not allowed to make any tags, but my toast was as follows; “The 3 of us, are decent people. There’s a decent woman out there for each of us. Sure it’s cool to be single every now and then, but I don’t give a damn what ANYONE says. At the end of the day, I want a family. I want to settle down. We all do. So here’s to finding that which we all hope for.”
In addition to the Instagram photo, police say the men then went to Curves strip club. Officers plan to review surveillance footage from the strip club and interview employees to determine if the officers had additional drinks while at that location.
NYPD has also secured surveillance video footage from a local gas station that showed the Honda Civic driving the wrong way down the highway. The driver of the tractor trailer, a New York firefighter, passed an alcohol test and was deemed not at fault in the accident. Also the car’s black box will help investigators determine how fast the off-duty police officers were traveling prior to the accident.
Officer Pedro Abad Jr. is still listed in critical condition and is said to have underwent brain surgery.
[Image Credit: AP Photo/Staten Island Advance, Irving Silverstein & Twitter/Pedro Jr.]