New Jersey

NJ Cop in Fatal Staten Island Crash Pleads Not Guilty to Manslaughter

The New Jersey police officer who law enforcement sources say had a blood alcohol content three times the legal limit when he hit a tractor-trailer head-on on a Staten Island highway, killing a fellow officer and a friend and critically injuring a third cop, pleaded not guilty to several charges including vehicular manslaughter Monday morning.

Linden police officer Pedro Abad was released on $25,000 bond Monday after the unsealing of a 27-count indictment in the March 20 crash that killed a fellow cop and a friend while injuring Abad and a third officer. He turned himself in to police on Staten Island Monday morning, six months after the crash on the West Shore Expressway. 

Abad was driving his fellow officers and friend on the wrong side of the expressway on the way back from a strip club when his vehicle slammed into the tractor-trailer, authorities said.  Hours before the crash, Abad had posted a photo on his Instagram page of three shot glasses filled with what he identified as "Jack Daniels Fire on the house."

Abad was hospitalized in critical condition following the crash, which killed fellow Linden officer Frank Viggiano and friend Joseph Rodriguez. Patrik Kudlac, another Linden cop riding in Abad's Honda, was also hospitalized in critical condition after the crash. Kudlac's mother told NBC 4 New York a month after the crash he was doing better.  

Abad was also badly injured in the crash and has himself been facing months of rehabilitation. 

Public records show Abad has been involved in eight accidents since 2005 and has two arrests for drunken driving in the last four years. His driving record and employment history is being investigated by authorities in New Jersey. 

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