A New York City police officer died after being hit by an intoxicated driver early Tuesday on the Long Island Expressway, officials said.
Police Commissioner Dermot F. Shea said the victim, Anastasios Tsakos, 43, was hit around 2 a.m. after being assigned to divert traffic from the highway by exit 26, near the Fresh Meadows neighborhood of Queens. The driver, who the police identified as Jessica Beauvais of Hempstead, N.Y., was under the influence and driving with a suspended license, Mr. Shea said, when she veered while traveling eastbound and struck the officer head on.
Ms. Beauvais, 32, is facing several charges including vehicular manslaughter, reckless endangerment and driving while intoxicated. Officials said that her car was extensively damaged with a shattered windshield.
Mr. Tsakos had been assigned to the highway after a separate crash around 12:30 a.m., when a vehicle struck a utility pole. One person was killed in that crash, Mr. Shea said, and Mr. Tsakos was among the officers guiding traffic away from the area.
After hitting Mr. Tsakos while he stood in the roadway, the woman left the scene but was later arrested, officials said. Mr. Tsakos was taken to New York-Presbyterian Queens Hospital, where he died.
Mr. Tsakos, a 14-year member of the department, was married and the father of two children, who are 3 and 6 years old, officials said.
“This is a very, very painful moment,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Tuesday morning. “They will never see their father again because somebody did the wrong thing.”