A New York Police Department (NYPD) officer was hit by an alleged drunk driver early Tuesday while directing traffic from a previous fatal crash in Queens on the Long Island Expressway.
The slain officer was identified as Anastasios Tsakos, 43, who spent 14 years in the NYPD and was assigned to Highway 3, WABC reported.
He leaves behind his wife, a six-year-old daughter, and a three-year-old son.
“We stand here this morning reminded once again, in law enforcement, there is no such thing as a routine job,” NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said. “We stand here devastated and trying to pick up the pieces of what is a shattered home and a shattered NYPD family.”
— Commissioner Shea (@NYPDShea) April 27, 2021
Tsakos was struck by a 2013 Volkswagen on the Long Island Expressway’s eastbound lanes near Francis Lewis Boulevard shortly before 2:00 a.m.
Tsakos was rushed to New York-Presbyterian Queens Hospital in critical condition. He later succumbed to his injuries.
Police said the suspect, Jessica Beauvais, a 32-year-old woman from Long Island allegedly driving with a suspended license while intoxicated, swerved to avoid other vehicles and struck Tsakos as he was standing next to his marked squad car.
She initially fled the scene, but was taken into custody shortly after she fled, CBS New York reported.
Beauvais now has several charges against her, including two counts of vehicular manslaughter, reckless endangerment, DWI, fleeing an officer in a motor vehicle, leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death, and more.
Top city officials, including Mayor Bill de Blasio, highlighted the senselessness of Tsakos’s death in a press briefing.
“He was at an accident where people had driven recklessly also with a suspended license,” de Blasio said. “He’s dead because of other people’s negligence.”