NEW YORK (AP) — A prosecutor at the opening of the New York trial for a former New Jersey police officer accused of a drunken wrong-way crash that killed a fellow officer and another man has said it was his extreme intoxication that led him to slam into a truck.
Assistant District Attorney Frank Prospero told jurors on Monday that former Linden officer Pedro Abad went the wrong way on a street at 73 miles per hour (117 kilometers per hour) because of how much he had drunk.
"It was nothing but his intoxication that caused him to go the wrong way on the West Shore Expressway at a high rate of speed," Prospero said. "This was a horrific crash with devastating injuries and the loss of the lives of two young men."
Abad faces charges including aggravated vehicular homicide and manslaughter in connection with the March 2015 crash on a Staten Island highway. Authorities have said his blood alcohol content was at .24 percent; the legal limit is .08 percent. He has pleaded not guilty and previously turned down a plea deal.
Defense attorney Mario Gallucci said authorities did not properly obtain a blood sample and cannot prove intoxication. He also said those at the scene first did not note any evidence of intoxication.
"They have nobody who can say they could smell alcohol ... (or) say they saw him driving," he said.