870 Shore Road, where the crash occurred. (Google Maps)
An off-duty NYPD officer was killed in a crash with a Parks Department garbage truck driver in the Bronx this morning. Police say Officer Brian Kessler, 28, was driving home from an overnight shift at police headquarters in Manhattan when the fatal collision occurred on Shore Road in the Pelham Bay section at 8:20 a.m. Wednesday.
Kessler was rushed to Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Two employees in the Parks Department truck, including the driver, were transported to the same hospital with minor injuries.
ABC 7 reports that the crash happened "on the road leading to the NYPD's Rodman's Neck Firing Range, as well as to City Island, and there have been bad accidents at the traffic circle in the past." The cause of the crash is under investigation and no charges have been filed, but ABC 7 also reports that area roads were icy at the time.
Kessler, who was engaged to be married, had been on the force for nine months, with the NYPD's Housing Bureau in the Bronx.
“He was well-liked,” NYPD Chief of Housing James Secreto said. “A lot of his colleagues are distraught, as could be expected.”
In a statement, Police Benevolent Association (PBA) President Patrick J. Lynch said, "We are deeply saddened at the loss of our brother Police Officer Brian Kessler in this tragic accident. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Kessler family, his fiancé and all his NYPD colleagues, particularly those at PSA 8. We also are keeping the NYC Parks employees who were injured in our thoughts as we wish them a speedy and full recovery."
The city Parks Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the crash.
UPDATE: Parks Department spokesperson Anessa Hodgson said in a statement, "This was a horrible tragedy and our thoughts are with the officer’s family. The matter is under investigation."