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East Meadow Man Charged with Manslaughter in NYPD Officer's Death

The fatal accident occurred on the Southern State Parkway Sunday morning.

An East Meadow man was arrested after an off-duty New York City Police officer from Massapequa was killed in a three-vehicle crash on the Southern State Parkway early Sunday morning.

Jonathan Lopez, 20, of East Meadow, was arrested and charged with vehicular manslaughter in the second degree, driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, speeding and two counts of assault in the third degree, police said.

According to police, off-duty officer Kevin Jessup, 25, was driving a Nissan Maxima east of Bethpage Parkway when he was struck by another Nissan driven by Lopez around 5:35 a.m., police said. Lopez then rear-ended a third vehicle.

According to police, Jessup and a passenger were transported to Nassau University Medical Center, where Jessup was pronounced dead. The passenger in Jessup's vehicle was admitted for non-life-threatening injuries. Lopez and the driver of the second car Lopez hit were treated and released from area hospitals.

Jessup was a three-year veteran assigned to the 106th Precinct in Queens, according to an NYPD spokesman.

Anyone who witnessed the accident is urged to call the New York State Police at 631-756-3300.

Michael A. Paccione September 13, 2011 at 06:48 PM
My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of both these young men. * According to New York State Law: Jonathan Lopez, being only 20 years of age at the time of the accident is considered to be a minor. * (New York State: legal age to consume alcoholic beverage is 21 years old). * Here are a few questions that should be asked/answered: 1. WHERE WAS HE SERVED? 2. WHO SERVED HIM? 3. WHY WASN'T HE CARDED? or 4. WHERE DID HE PURCHASE THE ALCOHOL ? 5. WHY WASN'T HE CARDED? 6. WHO SOLD HIM THE FAKE I.D.? and lastly 7. WHY DID HE DRINK & DRIVE * A comment on another readers view-point: What purpose would it serve to close bars earlier? Again, at the time of the accident Jonathan Lopez at the age of 20 was a minor, not of legal drinking age in New York State. Therefore he had no legal right to be served alcohol in a Bar, Night Club or Cocktail Lounge in New York State. This should never have happened.
Catherine Mary September 13, 2011 at 09:01 PM
Excellent questions Michael and I hope that we will eventually see the answers to them. I don't believe that boy got into that car drunk without someone over 21 contributing somehow to the event by either providing the alcohol or enabling him to access it. As for bars staying open till 4 am, do you truely not believe that closing them at 2 am, or better yet leaving them open for socializing only but no longer selling alcohol after 2 am would cut down the number of drunk drivers? Or that the hundreds of drunk drivers arrested monthly on LI are underage? Nothing else seems to be working. LI is really a disgrace when it comes to this problem. If you spend time in bars you will see that many of the people still there after 2 am are often too drunk to drive. But it obviously does not stop them. Fact is that drunk people are not capable of making good decisions. And most people who are drunk do not even realize it. http://www.longislandpress.com/2011/05/31/over-100-dwi-arrests-on-li-over-holiday-weekend/ (sorry I could not find a more current article, but this was not that long ago.)
Strug Lynn November 17, 2011 at 02:25 PM
Would love an update on this story. I heard there was no damage to the young man's car which shows he never bumped the other car. Also that it turns out he was not drunk. And that the cop and he were racing each other, making the cop (as a PO he should have known better) just as, if not more responsible for what happened. But I have no facts. Would be nice to know what really happened...
Michael Ganci November 17, 2011 at 02:41 PM
We will look into that! Thanks for the comment!

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