An New Jersey police officer reportedly caused a wrong-way crash in Staten Island after a drunken night at a strip club, leaving two people dead and leading to possible murder charges.
The accident happened on the West Shore Expressway in Staten Island on Friday, with police saying four men returning home from a strip club drove the wrong way and crashed head-on into a tractor-trailer. Two men riding in the car — 28-year-old Frank Viggiano, and his friend, 28-year-old Joe Rodriguez — were killed in the crash.
The driver, 27-year-old Pedro Abad, and another passenger, 23-year-old Patrik Kudlac, were injured but survived.
Now the New Jersey police officer allegedly responsible for the wrong way crash could be facing charges. Police have requested a warrant to test the driver’s blood-alcohol level following the crash.
The driver may already have some incriminating evidence against him. In the hours before the crash, Abad posted a picture on Instagram showing a row of shot glasses.
The caption on the photo indicated that the group had been drinking:
“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.'”
A similar case from the New York City area has led to murder charges. Firefighter Erik Refvik was arraigned this month for a number of charges including aggravated homicide, aggravated manslaughter, and drunken driving for a wrong-way crash that left a 47-year-old woman dead.
The Journal-News noted that Refvik was coming from a alcohol and drug-fueled binge when he allegedly caused the crash.
“The horrific collision occurred at 4:30 a.m. after prosecutors said Refvik went on a 12-hour drinking binge at local bars and ingested a “cocktail of drugs,” including cocaine, sedatives and bath salts. With his blood alcohol level at 0.21 percent — nearly three times the legal limit — prosecutors said Refvik got into his Chevrolet Tahoe and sped about 1/3 of a mile the wrong way on South Lexington Avenue, going 65 mph in the 30 mph zone.”
Police said it is too early to determine if the New Jersey police officer allegedly responsible for the wrong way crash will face charges.
[Image via SFGate]