TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Officials say an off-duty New Jersey police officer who was driving a car involved wrong-way crash in New York that killed an officer and a friend previously had his driver’s license suspended for driving under the influence.
New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commissioner spokeswoman Elyse Coffey says Linden Officer Pedro Abad had his license suspended for seven months starting Oct. 16, 2013.
A judge had found Abad was driving under the influence in Rahway and that he refused to submit to a chemical test.
Police would not say if he faced disciplinary action at work.
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.” But authorities said it was “too premature” to speculate on what caused the accident.
CBS2’s Tony Aiello was on hand on Tuesday night, as one victim was remembered.
The deep sense of loss showed on the faces of those who were visiting the Linden funeral home where the line to pay respect to Joseph Rodriguez stretched around the block.
Rodriguez died when a car driven by his friend Abad, went into oncoming traffic on the West Shore Expressway.
“Everyone’s remorseful about it. No one’s really, like I said, everyone’s human,” friend Joe Minio said.
Between 2005 and 2013, Abad was involved in seven additional motor vehicle accidents.
‘They’re police officers. They’re supposed to follow the rules like regular citizens,” Carolyn Serles said.
Abad’s Instagram account is filled with posts about drinking and video selfies taken as he drove his police cruiser.
Abad was also cited in 2012 for using a cellphone while driving.
Linden police had no comment about Abad’s driving record, and said they would only look at his Instagram account if someone had complained about what he was posting.
Mourners will return Wednesday for Officer Frank Viggiano who was also killed in the wreck.
Abad and Officer Patrik Kudlac suffered gruesome injuries and remain in the hospital.
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