New York police officers (and all others throughout the nation) must obey the law. When an officer is off-duty and traveling by motor vehicle, he or she is bound by the same traffic regulations and laws as the rest of the community. When an accident occurs that could have been prevented, those mourning the loss of a family member may experience intense feelings of anger and frustration. A recent apparent wrongful death situation was reportedly caused by a police officer who has since been suspended from his duties.
The situation involved a young man who was taking his girlfriend on a date to celebrate her 21st birthday. The man's sister was kind enough to act as chauffeur for the couple, riding in the backseat at the time. The man said it all happened so fast that one minute they felt something strike their vehicle, and the next thing he knew, he was in the hospital.
Authorities say what happened in between is that an alleged drunk driver smashed into the car occupied by the three victims. All occupants were injured and transported to a nearby medical facility. Sadly, the man's sister (the driver) did not survive her injuries. He was treated and later released from the hospital; his girlfriend is still in the hospital.
The 32-year-old off-duty policeman was arrested and charged with drunk driving and assault by motor vehicle. He is also said to have refused a Breathalyzer test. The family of those who were injured say they're shocked and upset that the city has not reached out to them in any way. A tragedy like this one would certainly be grounds for filing a wrongful death claim in a New York civil court against any and all parties deemed responsible.
Source: CBS New York, "Exclusive: Survivor In Fatal Crash Involving Allegedly Drunk Off-Duty Police Officer Demands Justice For Victims", Hazel Sanchez, April 25, 2017