NYPD officer killed in collision with garbage truck

Marla Diamond/WCBS 880

Off-Duty NYPD Officer Killed In Head-On Collision With Garbage Truck In The Bronx

January 16, 2019 - 3:19 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- An off-duty NYPD officer heading home after a 12-hour shift was killed in a head-on collision with a city-owned garbage truck Wednesday morning in the Bronx.

Police said 28-year-old Brian Kessler was driving through Pelham Bay Park on his way home to Westchester after working an overnight security shift at police headquarters in Lower Manhattan when his Chevy Equinox crashed head-on into the small city Parks Department garbage truck around 8:20 a.m. on Shore Road, near the Pelham Bay & Split Rock Golf Courses.

"As of right now, we believe both units were moving at the time. We are conducting a video canvas right now," said Inspector Steven D'Ulisse with the NYPD Highway Unit.

Images from the crash scene, located in a remote area of the Bronx about two miles from the police firing range and NYPD's Mounted Unit offices, showed the Equinox had significant front-end damage.

The officer was rushed to Jacobi Hospital, where he died a short time later. Kessler graduated from the police academy three months ago and was assigned to the NYPD Housing Unit. He was engaged to be married, said Chief of Housing James Secreto.

"He was well-liked, lots of his colleagues are distraught, as to be expected," Secreto said.

“We are deeply saddened at the loss of our brother Police Officer Brian Kessler in this tragic accident," PBA President Patrick Lynch said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the Kessler family, his fiancé and all his NYPD colleagues, particularly those at PSA 8. We also are keeping the NYC Parks employees who were injured in our thoughts as we wish them a speedy and full recovery.”

The crash occurred on what residents say is a hazardous stretch of Shore Road.

Beth Geizel, who lives on nearby City Island, said the road is narrow and can be icy.

"I hate this road during the winter," she said. "I had two major spinouts on this road as many other people have, too. It's very dangerous. I used to call my daughter and say, 'Honey, don't go on Shore Road because it's slick.' This road is a death trap."

"If you look at the guardrail up along here it's all smashed up, accidents happen here all the time," said Tommy Breen, a Westchester photographer who, along with his brother, has been documenting conditions on the road for the past three years. "We've gotten the city to launch a study to look at fixing the many problems, but right now it's just a study."

There's a blind curve where wreck occurred. It's unclear if speed or road conditions were a factor in the crash.

Two people inside the truck were not seriously injured.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.