Thousands Mourn Cop Killed on Long Island Expressway

He was investigating after an alleged drunk driver crashed into one car and then was struck by another vehicle moments later

Thousands of police officers, their right hands lifted in salute, greeted the casket Monday of a Nassau County police officer killed when he responded to a series of crashes on the Long Island Expressway last week.

Joseph Olivieri, 43, died Thursday morning on the eastbound LIE shortly before 5 a.m. He had been answering an accident call, investigating after an alleged drunk driver crashed into one car and then another moments later.

Olivieri was hit by an oncoming SUV. That driver was not charged. The alleged drunken driver faces vehicular manslaughter and other charges. He is free on bond.     

Fellow highway patrol officer Robert DelSignore said Olivieri "was a cop's cop."

At the funeral Monday, DelSignore carried a 2010 photo of a group of highway patrol cops, which included Olivieri and Officer Michael Califano, who was killed by a drunk driver in 2011.

"I can't believe the two are now gone," he said, fighting back tears.

Olivieri's two children and his parents led a parade of mourners into the church.

Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone were among those who came to pay their respect.

"Joe was the go-to guy," said one mourner.  "He was the kind of guy who would give you the shirt off his back."

According to police officials, an estimated 100 police departments were represented at the funeral.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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