TEANECK, N.J. (CBS 2/WCBS 880/1010 WINS) — He was a hero until the end.
Hours after helping a man who was choking and had no pulse, a New Jersey police officer was killed in the line of duty.
The tragic death of Teaneck Police Officer John Abraham — after crashing his police car into a telephone pole early Monday morning — is filled with irony, reports CBS 2’s John Metaxas.
At around 7:30 p.m. Sunday at a Teaneck kosher steakhouse, Abraham heroically helped save a man’s life.
“He had a very large piece of steak in his mouth, which he was choking on,” hostess Michelle Micek said.
Micek was called over to the table when other patrons saw an elderly customer in crisis. She quickly called 9-1-1.
“They came in immediately. I had servers outside calling them in here. Not a minute after I got off the phone,” Micek said.
Officer Abraham ran in, and began attending to the man, who at first did not have a pulse.
“He remained very calm, tried to give the man CPR. Very calm. He tried to do everything in his power to get the man to breathe again,” Micek said.
Abraham worked at clearing the victim’s throat until paramedics arrived. The choking victim was rushed to Holy Name Medical Center. Ironically, it was the same hospital Officer Abraham would end up at hours later.
His good deed done, Abraham left the restaurant and continued on his double shift.
It was just before 2 a.m., when he crashed his cruiser on Teaneck road — right in front of the police station.
His death choked up his commanding officers.
“An interesting thing his wife said to me was that he died doing what he wanted to do. He always said ‘I want to die at work.’ It’s scary. Awestruck, proud that he died doing something he loved so much, that’s how he did his job,” Teaneck Police Chief Robert Wilson said.
Officer Abraham was pronounced dead at the hospital at the same time the man he helped save from choking was recuperating.
The Bergen County prosecutor is investigating Abraham’s death. They are awaiting autopsy results. Officer Abraham left behind a wife and a 5-year-old son.