A New York Police Department Officer was killed early Tuesday morning diverting traffic from an accident when he was struck by an alleged drunk driver, authorities said.
Officer Anastasios Tsakos, a 14-year-veteran of the department, was “killed by an intoxicated driver” Tuesday morning, the NYPD said.
Killed by an intoxicated driver early this morning, @NYPDHighway Police Officer Anastasios Tsakos loved his family and the city he was dedicated to protecting for the past 14 years. As the NYPD and NYC mourn this tragic loss, we make a solemn vow to #NeverForget Anastasios. pic.twitter.com/kjGADuGzOW
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) April 27, 2021
Tsakos and other officers were responding to a car accident on a major expressway where a vehicle struck a utility pole. Three individuals were in the vehicle, and one died, according to authorities.
Tsakos was redirecting traffic off of the highway when he was hit by a 2013 Volkswagen in Queens just before 2:00 a.m., according to authorities.
Police said the driver, 32-year-old Jessica Beauvais had a suspended license and swerved to avoid cars, hitting Tsakos as he stood near his police vehicle, ABC 7 NY reported.
The driver allegedly fled the scene but was apprehended a short time later. Beauvais faces a slew of charges, including two counts of vehicular manslaughter and driving while intoxicated.
“It’s a very, very painful moment,” Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said during a Tuesday press briefing.
“Police Officer Anastasios Tsakos gave 14 years to this city protecting people, and that’s what he was doing this evening. He was out there trying to make sure that everyone was safe. And he is dead because someone drove under the influence and recklessly. Someone drove with a suspended license.”
“He’s dead because he was at an accident where people had driven recklessly also with a suspended license.” (RELATED: Video Shows Michigan State Rep. Name-Dropping Gov. Whitmer During Drunk Driving Arrest)
De Blasio said “there are no words for” the pain Tsakos’ widow, Irene, is going through.
“A few hours ago, she was looking forward to seeing her husband again, and now she won’t.”
“He leaves behind a 6-year old daughter, a 3-year old son,” the mayor said. “They will never see their father again because somebody did the wrong thing, and we have to understand, every day our officers go out looking to do the right thing. But here’s a good man who won’t be home.”
— Commissioner Shea (@NYPDShea) April 27, 2021
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said Tsakos will “forever be remembered as a NYC Hero.”