MINEOLA New York (PIX11) — The man whose DWI crash caused a series of accidents that resulted in the death of a police officer is facing new charges, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced Wednesday.
James Ryan, 26, of Oakdale, was arraigned Wednesday morning on new charges of aggravated vehicular homicide, manslaughter in the second degree, aggravated vehicular assault, assault in the second degree, aggravated vehicular assault, aggravated criminally negligent homicide and criminally negligent homicide.
Ryan was already charged with vehicular manslaughter, DWI, reckless driving, reckless endangerment, leaving the scene of an accident, speeding and impeding traffic.
According to Rice, Ryan slammed his Toyota Camry into a livery cab just before 5 a.m. on October 18, while returning from a Manhattan club on the LIE. Ryan fled the scene with jagged pieces of his ruined front end scarring the expressway.
Just before reaching an exit, Ryan hit the brakes and screeched to a halt — causing an off-duty NYPD officer behind him to slam into the back of his car. The crash left the officer with a fractured sternum, multiple fractured ribs and heart palpitations.
Ryan’s Camry swung into the HOV lane where it came to a rest. The first responding officer, James Olivieri, was securing the scene when a black SUV approached and slowed down to between 37 and 40 mph, but the driver didn’t see Ryan’s vehicle until it was too late. The SUV swerved but still clipped the car and hit officer Olivieri, killing him.
Ryan’s blood-alcohol content at the scene was between .13 and .14 percent. He is currently free on bail but faces up to 25 years if convicted of the top charge of aggravated vehicular homicide.