Conviction Tossed For Man Whose Drunken Crash Led To Death Of Nassau County Officer

May 09, 2018 - 8:12 pm

NORTH HILLS, N.Y. (WCBS 880) -- A New York state appeals court on Wednesday threw out the manslaughter conviction of a Long Island man whose drunken crash led to the death of a Nassau County police officer.

As WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported, as Long Island Expressway overpass was named in honor of Nassau County police Officer Joseph Olivieri, who died responding to a crash in 2012.

Now James Ryan, the man who was convicted of manslaughter in the officer’s death, will be freed from a Buffalo prison after his conviction was overturned by the state appeals court.

The panel ruled too much time passed between Ryan’s actions and the officer’s death for Ryan to be responsible.

Ryan was driving drunk when he caused a chain-reaction crash. Olivieri responded, and was hit by a sport-utility vehicle driver and killed as he walked on the LIE.

“I would say that not a day has gone by since this conviction that I haven’t thought about James, because I feel like this was just an injustice that was done,” said Ryan’s attorney, Marc Gann.

Ryan served two years of his five-year sentence.

A representative of the Nassau County District Attorney’s office said, “We are disappointed by the court’s decision and reviewing our appellate options.”