Three off-duty New Jersey police officers who were among the occupants in a car involved in a fatal crash early Friday morning with a tractor-trailer had just visited a strip club when the accident occurred, the Associated Press reported. Two people were killed in the accident -- Linden Police Officer Frank Viggiano, 28, and former government employee Joe Rodriguez, also 28.
The driver of the car was identified as Pedro Abad, a 27-year-old Linden police officer. The other off-duty officer in the car was passenger Patrick Kudlac, 23. Abad and Kudlac suffered life-threatening injuries in the accident while the tractor-trailer driver’s injuries weren’t as serious, according to the AP.
The car was driving the wrong way on the service road of a highway in Staten Island, New York, when it collided with a tractor-trailer traveling southbound, according to the AP. Abad posted a photo to his Instagram account hours before the early Friday morning crash that showed three shot glasses filled with what he said was “Jack Daniels Fire on the house.” Authorities would not say whether alcohol led to the incident.
"We were all young once and I'm sure we've all done stupid things in our life," said Linden Police Chief James Schulhafer. "But that being said, because this is an ongoing investigation, it would be way too premature to speculate on what caused this accident."
The police officers and Rodriguez were at the Curves Gentleman’s Club on Staten Island shortly before the crash, New York City Police Department Deputy Chief Kim Royster told the New Jersey-based Courier News. The investigation will involve interviewing patrons of the strip club and going over surveillance footage to determine whether any of the occupants of the car were drinking. Authorities may then test their blood for alcohol if there is reasonable suspicion that they were drinking, the outlet reported.