A drunken driver going the wrong way on a Long Island parkway hit a car being driven by an off-duty New York City police officer Monday, killing him, the mayor's office said.
The 35-year-old officer, Andre Menzies, was going east on the Northern State Parkway shortly after midnight when his car was struck. He died at the scene.
The driver of the van that hit him, Michael Bowen, suffered minor injuries, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. He was arrested at the scene on charges of driving while intoxicated and reckless driving.
The officer's father, Robert Menzies, was still in shock Monday night.
"We haven't seen him yet in this state that he's in right now, you know, lifeless," Menzies told NBCNewYork. When we see him in the upcoming days we're going to have a problem trying to stay calm."
"He was the kind of son that you would be proud of because he was doing what he was supposed to be doing and upholding the law, he said.
Bowen was ordered held on $350,000 cash bail at his arraignment, according to a spokeswoman for the Suffolk County district attorney. He was represented by an attorney from Legal Aid, which has a policy of not commenting on pending cases.
Menzies had worked for the New York Police Department for nine years and left behind a wife and two small children, ages 9 and 7. Tragically, he also had three older daughters -- 12, 14 and 15 -- with a first wife who passed away.
At the time of the crash Menzies was on his way home from his duty assignment at the Queens Housing Bureau.
The accident comes on the heels of another suspected drunken-driving accident in which a 17-year-old girl was struck by an out-of-control pickup. She was expected to survive.
"This is just another tragic reminder of the deadly danger of drunk driving," Bloomberg said. "So make no mistake about it, we are determined to stop drunk driving now — before the holiday season gets into full swing. We don't want any more of this kind of carnage that we saw this weekend."
Police Commisioner Ray Kelly added, "On behalf of the entire Police Department, I express my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Police Officer Andre Menzies. His young children are left without a father as a result of a senseless accident in which a drunken driver drove the wrong way on a highway at night."