All peace officers know that their line of work is dangerous. They carry guns for a reason. Yet, the greatest danger doesn't come from thugs on the street. Instead, careless drivers are the culprits; more law enforcement officers are killed in traffic accidents than by any other cause.
A fatal car-pedestrian accident in North Hills was the most recent tragedy to strike the police force. On Thursday morning, a Nassau County police officer was attending to a car crash on the Long Island Expressway when another car driving around the accident struck him. He was pronounced dead at the Nassau University Medical Center. Several other people were injured.
While no charges have been filed in either accident, an arrest has been made. The first car crash may have been caused by drunk driving. If true, the drunk driver may be liable for all injuries caused as a result of his or her actions.
"What I can promise," Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice said, "is that we will get to the bottom of exactly what happened." The president of the Nassau County Police Benevolent Association said that it was the deceased police officer's dream to work as a highway patrol officer. He has asked public officials to take action to make the Long Island Expressway safer. This includes installing better lighting and broader shoulders.
The family of a highway patrol officer killed in the line of duty can recover compensation by bringing a workers' compensation claim as well as a third party liability claim against the party that caused the accident.
Police officers put themselves in danger to save our lives. Their deaths are particularly tragic. Our hearts go out to the officer's family and to all families of peace officers lost or injured in the line of duty.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Nassau County Police Officer Struck, Killed in Line of Duty," Will James, Oct. 18, 2012.
Learn more about recovering after an auto accident by reading our pages on car accidents.