DIX HILLS, N.Y. (CBS 2/1010 WINS/WCBS 880) — An off-duty NYPD officer was killed in a wrong-way accident on Long Island  just forty minutes after leaving his shift.

Officer Andre Menzies, 35, was killed early Monday morning on his way home from the Queens Housing Bureau.

Menzies’ Honda Accord was struck by a Chevy Astro van going the wrong way in the eastbound lanes of the Northern State Parkway just east of Exit 41, CBS 2’s John Metaxas reported.

Rescue crews arrived to find Menzies trapped in his vehicle and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reports

WCBS 880 Reporter Peter Haskell with latest from Mayor Bloomberg

The van’s driver, 50-year-old Michael Bowen, of Brooklyn, was charged with driving while intoxicated and reckless driving.

Scene of the accident on the Northern Parkway (Photo/CBS 2)

Menzies’ family and friends gathered Monday, both at his North Babylon residence and his boyhood home in Queens to mourn the devoted husband and father.

Menzies is survived by his wife Natasha and two young children.

The officer’s mother, Sheila Menzies said “I don’t know what I feel.  I’m just hurting. I’m just hurting.”

“When I came home then my aunt told me and that’s when I started to cry,” Tiffany Menzies, the officer’s daughter, said.

“It’s sad…hard to deal with because he was just here,” neighbor Mark Smith said, “he had a lot of hopes, a lot of dreams for his family.”

Bowen pleaded not guilty and bail was set at $350,000, but he did not post bail.  Bowen could also face further charges, 1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon reported.

1010 WINS Reporter Sonia Rincon gets details on the fatal crash

Police say they do not know how long Bowen had been traveling the wrong way. He had minor injuries and was treated at a hospital before being arrested.

Mayor Bloomberg offered his condolences from City Hall and said “we are not going to let drunk drivers inflict more death and suffering.”

“Nothing is as important – no reason you have to get home is important enough to put somebody else’s life in danger,” Bloomberg said.

Some relatives said they wished that Mezies’ death would stop others from drinking and driving.

“I hope that today one or two other people decide ‘you know what, I’ve had one too many, I saw this story today on the news and I’m not going to get behind the wheel,'” Menzies cousin Joelle Lubin said.

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(TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (28)
  1. brent says:

    my sis just went to their house and they were happy and now their down

  2. Jonathan Reiter says:

    More than one wrong way accident!

    Two Wrong-Way Crashes Occur on Long Island Highways http://newyorkcityaccidentlawyer.visionsmartnews.com/two-wrong-way-crashes-occur-on-long-island-highways_3245.html

  3. Sherese says:

    This is such a sad situation.. My heart goes out to the family..

  4. Nikita says:

    I am in such disbelief. My family should not have to go through this. No one’s family for that matter should have to ever suffer the agony of hearing of any family member loosing their life in such a reckless, senseless manner. This man should’ve thought about the family he also had waiting for him at home and it is unfortunate that he will still be able to see them grow even if it is behind bars, yet my cousin Andre lost that privilege to the hands of an irresponsible being. Now I have read other comments posted on serveral sites regarding this tragedy, and the extremely offensive remarks some have made questioning my cousins parental responsibilites. Now what kind of parental responsibilities did the man who took my cousins life in such a IRRESPONSIBLE way have? He did not even consider his family when he took it upon him self to get in his vehicle and attempt driving home knowing he had way too much to drink. So someone please tell me, is that something a good parent would do? Now to those out there who think it is okay to drink and drive, just put yourselves in my aunt and uncle’s postion recieving that phone call that your son, daughter, mother, father, husband, or wife had their life taken away because of such an irresponsile act. This could have more than been avoided but because it wasn’t my family and others who have experienced the same loss can only mourn with so many unanswered questions and all we can do is remember the times we shared with our loved one. Andre I love you. You are and will always be missed. I hope you are resting in peace…..

  5. adolph says:


  6. sentimentalstreet says:

    and he had a lawsuit against the nypd

  7. VAL says:

    RIP CUZ DRE !!!!! To all my lil cousins we love you all .
    No words for the man that took him away from his family and 5 kids .
    NOTHING LESS !!!!!

  8. Jade says:

    To all that have negative comments to say……please keep them to yourself. This is a ruff time for ALL the families….Natasha and fam…keep your head up. Your family is in my prayers
    RIP Andre….you will be missed

  9. Nadine Leon says:

    I am the cousin of Nicole andres 1st wife R.I.P to Andre and just to let everyone know he does not have 2 kids he indeed have 5 kids includes the 3 from Nicole Andrea, Melissa and Tiffany.

    1. Shari Grizzle-Leon says:

      I agree this article is inaccurate and should include his first three daughters from Nicole. I feel really bad for the girls now they are left orphans because of one mans indiscretion to drink and drive. My prayers go out to the rest of the family.

  10. Keisha Whyte says:

    I am andre’s 1st wife Nicole cousin just want to say my heart goes out to his family such a tragic thing to happen may his soul rest in peace.

  11. DanTe says:

    When are we finally going to have a law that will execute the drunken murderous sc\/ms?

    Oh wait, ALL Politicians are lying drunkards. Guess we’ll never get a just law.

  12. C glee says:

    RIP Officer Menzies
    Bowen I hope you burn in hell

  13. John says:

    I really hate it when its the good guys, the officers of the law that are the ones dying.
    There really needs to be harsher penalties for drunk driving. Lets just say the penalty for drunk driving was instantly the death penalty, I would predict the number of drunk driving would drop by around 95%

  14. nikki says:

    i cant believe this happened….please show support for my family we are going through a rough time….r.i.p cousin dre

  15. SAN says:

    he has 5 children! It’s a shame that people are only mentioning the 2 with his current wife. I feel for his family and offer them my heartfelt condolences. This is a horribly sad story

  16. TJ says:

    totally sucks! plain and simple. I have 2 young children and now there is going to be 2 small kids that grow up with no father. Really Sad

    1. will says:

      Cops make this happen everyday when they gun down my people. I have two small kids of my own and yet I feel no remorse for him.

      1. Chino says:

        Your people? Criminals?

      2. victor ellery says:

        you must be a black and ex convict, seems like the the blacks like to do the crime but not do the time. prosicute this person for murder and a lengthy prison time.

      3. Lawrence says:

        will your statement says your are out of control and maybe should check into hospital before it is to late

      4. Chris says:

        Would’ve been better if Bowen mowed you down

  17. bart simpson says:

    its time we show zero tolerance towards drunk drivers. lock em up or send them to Afghanistan to fight

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