Police dog killed in crash after driver flees DWI checkpoint

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. — A police dog was killed and two officers were injured after a man fled a DWI checkpoint on Long Island early Sunday, authorities said.

Rocky, a German shepherd, was ejected from a police car after a driver fled a DWI checkpoint.

At about 2:30 a.m., police conducting a DWI checkpoint on Peconic Avenue directed a man driving a dark-colored Audi to stop for further investigation, authorities said.

According to police, the man disregarded the order and drove off, striking the officer with his car.

A police pursuit began, but was called off in the Manorville area after it was deemed too dangerous.

A Riverhead K9 unit officer and his police dog “Rocky,” who responded to the pursuit, lost control of the vehicle and struck a utility pole, said police.

The 10-year-old German shepherd was ejected from the vehicle and was killed, said police.

The heavily damaged police vehicle ended up in a wooded area, according to the department.

The officer initially struck by the fleeing vehicle and the K9 handler were taken to the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, said police.

According to Riverhead police, Rocky had been a member of the Riverhead K9 unit since 2011.