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Cops: Driver Charged in Officer's Death

Oakdale man charged with possession of controlled substance, DWI in connection with chain-reaction accident that killed Nassau Police officer on LIE.

An Oakdale man Nassau County Police said was responsible for two early-morning crashes on the Long Island Expressway has been charged in the death of Officer Joseph P. Olivieri.

James Ryan, 25, will be arraigned Friday on one count of second degree vehicular manslaughter and two counts of second degree reckless endangerment. In addition, Ryan faces charges of criminal possession of a controlled substance, reckless driving, driving while intoxicated and leaving an incident without a report.  

Olivieri, 43, a 19-year veteran of law enforcement, was killed responding to a disabled motorist at exit 35 of the Long Island Expressway in North Hills early Thursday. He was struck by a 2002 Cadillac Escalade travelling eastbound in the HOV lane. 

Police said Ryan, driving a 2010 Toyota Camry, started a chain reaction of events at about 4:43 a.m. when he hit a 2008 BMW and then drove off. 

Ryan then stopped abruptly in the left lane, parallel to exit 35, and was struck by a 2005 Honda Civic, according to police. The Honda came to rest in the right lane facing westbound while Ryan’s car came to rest perpendicular to the center median. 

When Olivieri arrived, he positioned his marked patrol car in the right lane in front of the Honda.

Police said the officer exited his vehicle and crossed to the HOV lane when he and the Toyota were struck.

Olivieri, who radioed for assistance, was transported to North Shore University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 5:25 a.m. 

Ryan will be arraigned at First District Court in Hempstead.

Common Sense October 24, 2012 at 10:04 PM
The death of officer Olivieri is a tragedy. But to charge mr Ryan with vehicular manslaughter is outrageous. If I get pulled over for speeding and the officer is struck by a car while giving me a ticket will I be charged with manslaughter??? How ridiculous & a waste of taxpayer money this obscene charge is. Whats next? Will Kathleen Rice be prosecuting people accused of DWI with Global Warming because the car they drove emitted pollutants??
Matt Llama October 24, 2012 at 10:45 PM
Excuse me, but when is the last time you hit a car that was parked OFF the road, on a shoulder, WITH A COP NEXT TO IT WITH ITS LIGHTS ON, while you were sober? He CHOSE to drink and CHOSE to do drugs THEN CHOSE to drive his car, thus he CHOSE to kill someone and cause a 4 car accident.
Common Sense October 25, 2012 at 02:49 AM
The person being charged with vehicular manslaughter (mr Ryan) was NOT driving the vehicle that FAILED to notice a car accident in front of them with a car IN their lane WITH A COP NEXT TO IT WITH ITS LIGHTS ON. The person who rammed their vehicle into the accident scene was driving the Cadillac escalade. I don't know if flares had been set up, but the accident scene is a very well lit stretch of the expressway and there's about a half mile of straightaway leading up to the exit 35 sign where this occurred. The driver of the escalade had plenty of time to see what was going on and stop their vehicle. What speed were they driving and why didnt they see the flashing lights??
Grace November 16, 2012 at 06:32 PM
You ARE common sense.

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