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.