FRESH MEADOWS, Queens — Officer Anastasios Tsakos, a 14-year veteran of the NYPD who died after being struck by an intoxicated driver, was assisting with another fatal accident in Queens Monday night when he was killed.
Police responded to a crash on the east bound lane of the Long Island Expressway at the Clearview Expressway at around 12:27 a.m. Tuesday. Authorities found a 2012 Infinity G37X sedan with fire coming out of the engine area.
Investigators determined that the driver failed to properly navigate the roadway and struck the base of an overpass, veering right before striking a light post and coming to a rest. No other vehicles were affected.
A 26-year-old male passenger was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. A 24-year-old driver and a 19-year-old passenger were also taken to hospitals for treatment.
An investigation remains ongoing into the first accident.
After that accident, the officer was helping divert traffic off the Long Island Expressway at around 2 a.m. when a car veered and struck him head on, before speeding off, police said.
Tsakos was initially transported to a Flushing hospital in critical condition, but later succumbed to his injuries, the NYPD said.
A 14-year member of the force, Tsakos leaves behind a wife and two young children, a 6-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
Police were able to catch up to the car a short time later and took the driver Jessica Beauvais, a 32-year-old Long Island woman, into custody, authorities said.
According to the commissioner, the woman was intoxicated and driving with a suspended license when she fatally struck the officer.
The mayor called Tsakos a “hero officer,” mentioning that he was working to protect New Yorkers when he was fatally struck.