Off-Duty Cop Made U-Turn on Thruway Before Deadly Crash, Witnesses Tell Police

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    NEWSLETTERS

    An off-duty NYPD officer driving the wrong way on the New York State Thruway collided with another vehicle, killing himself and the other driver, authorities say. Brynn Gingras reports. (Published Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014)

    State police investigating the wrong-way crash on the New York State Thruway that killed an off-duty NYPD officer and another driver say they're looking into reports that the cop's vehicle had made a U-turn on the highway just before the crash.

    Police are hoping to speak with other witnesses who may have seen what led to the deadly crash.

    The off-duty officer, 32-year-old Richard Christopher, of Suffern, was driving southbound in the northbound lanes of the Thruway near exit 15 in Suffern when he crashed into a Honda CR-V being driven by 59-year-old James DeVito of Airmont Tuesday morning, police say.

    Christopher and DeVito were both killed in the crash. No one else was in their vehicles, and no other motorists were injured.

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    Police say one witness reported seeing a vehicle resembling Christopher's pickup truck parked facing southbound in a median on the Thruway shortly before people started calling 911 to report a vehicle going the wrong way.

    Other witnesses have also said they saw the truck make a U-turn on Interstate 87 northbound near the Interstate 287 overpass, about a half-mile north of the accident scene, according to police

    It's not clear why Christopher, an eight-year member of the NYPD and an Army veteran, was driving the wrong way.

    Police said Tuesday that toxicology tests to determine if drugs or alcohol were in his system were pending.

    Anyone with information is asked to call State Police Haverstraw at 845-364-0200.

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