Officer behind wheel in fatal wrong-way crash had DUI in '13

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NJ Policeman Behind Wheel in Wrong-Way Crash Had Previous DUI

The off-duty New Jersey police officer who was behind the wheel during a wrong-way crash that killed another officer and a friend last week in New York City had previously had his driver's license suspended for driving under the influence, an official said Tuesday.

Linden Officer Pedro Abad Jr., had his license suspended for seven months starting in October 2013, said Elyse Coffey, spokeswoman for the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission.

The suspension stemmed from an accident in Rahway, New Jersey, in February of that year. A judge found he refused to submit to a chemical test and was also driving under the influence.

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Officer behind wheel in fatal wrong-way crash had DUI in '13
STATEN ISLAND, NY - MARCH 20: Aftermath photo of head on collision between a tractor-trailer and an automobile carrying 3 Linden police officers and a civilian employee, killing two and leaving two others in critical condition. The car was traveling in the wrong direction on the southbound West Shore Expressway at about 5 a.m. when the crash occurred in Staten Island, New York City on March 20, 2015. Credit: Dennis Van Tine/MediaPunch/IPX
Pedro Abad was behind the wheel when he drove the wrong way down the highway and crashed head-on into a tractor-trailer. 
Pedro Abad posted a photo of the drinks on his Instagram page before the crash that included a caption of a toast he said he had given.
In this undated photo provided by the Linden, N.J. Police Department, Police Officer Pedro Abad is shown. Abad, 27, is in critical condition after the car he was driving struck a truck head-on, while travelling in the wrong direction on a Staten Island N.Y., highway, Friday, March 20, 2015. The crash critically injured a fellow officer and killed another. A civilian travelling in the vehicle also died. (AP Photo/Linden N.J. Police Department)
Pedro Abad was behind the wheel when he drove the wrong way down the highway and crashed head-on into a tractor-trailer. 
STATEN ISLAND, NY - MARCH 20: Aftermath photo of head on collision between a tractor-trailer and an automobile carrying 3 Linden police officers and a civilian employee, killing two and leaving two others in critical condition. The car was traveling in the wrong direction on the southbound West Shore Expressway at about 5 a.m. when the crash occurred in Staten Island, New York City on March 20, 2015. Credit: Dennis Van Tine/MediaPunch/IPX
STATEN ISLAND, NY - MARCH 20: Aftermath photo of head on collision between a tractor-trailer and an automobile carrying 3 Linden police officers and a civilian employee, killing two and leaving two others in critical condition. The car was traveling in the wrong direction on the southbound West Shore Expressway at about 5 a.m. when the crash occurred in Staten Island, New York City on March 20, 2015. Credit: Dennis Van Tine/MediaPunch/IPX
In this undated photo provided by the Linden, N.J. Police Department, Police Officer Frank Viggiano is shown. Viggiano, 28, was killed in a motor vehicle accident while riding as a passenger in a car driven by fellow Linden Police Officer, Pedro Abad, in the early morning hours of Friday, March 20, 2015 on New York’s Staten Island. (AP Photo/Linden N.J. Police Department)
STATEN ISLAND, NY - MARCH 20: Aftermath photo of head on collision between a tractor-trailer and an automobile carrying 3 Linden police officers and a civilian employee, killing two and leaving two others in critical condition. The car was traveling in the wrong direction on the southbound West Shore Expressway at about 5 a.m. when the crash occurred in Staten Island, New York City on March 20, 2015. Credit: Dennis Van Tine/MediaPunch/IPX
STATEN ISLAND, NY - MARCH 20: Aftermath photo of head on collision between a tractor-trailer and an automobile carrying 3 Linden police officers and a civilian employee, killing two and leaving two others in critical condition. The car was traveling in the wrong direction on the southbound West Shore Expressway at about 5 a.m. when the crash occurred in Staten Island, New York City on March 20, 2015. Credit: Dennis Van Tine/MediaPunch/IPX
STATEN ISLAND, NY - MARCH 20: Aftermath photo of head on collision between a tractor-trailer and an automobile carrying 3 Linden police officers and a civilian employee, killing two and leaving two others in critical condition. The car was traveling in the wrong direction on the southbound West Shore Expressway at about 5 a.m. when the crash occurred in Staten Island, New York City on March 20, 2015. Credit: Dennis Van Tine/MediaPunch/IPX
STATEN ISLAND, NY - MARCH 20: Aftermath photo of head on collision between a tractor-trailer and an automobile carrying 3 Linden police officers and a civilian employee, killing two and leaving two others in critical condition. The car was traveling in the wrong direction on the southbound West Shore Expressway at about 5 a.m. when the crash occurred in Staten Island, New York City on March 20, 2015. Credit: Dennis Van Tine/MediaPunch/IPX
STATEN ISLAND, NY - MARCH 20: Aftermath photo of head on collision between a tractor-trailer and an automobile carrying 3 Linden police officers and a civilian employee, killing two and leaving two others in critical condition. The car was traveling in the wrong direction on the southbound West Shore Expressway at about 5 a.m. when the crash occurred in Staten Island, New York City on March 20, 2015. Credit: Dennis Van Tine/MediaPunch/IPX
STATEN ISLAND, NY - MARCH 20: Aftermath photo of head on collision between a tractor-trailer and an automobile carrying 3 Linden police officers and a civilian employee, killing two and leaving two others in critical condition. The car was traveling in the wrong direction on the southbound West Shore Expressway at about 5 a.m. when the crash occurred in Staten Island, New York City on March 20, 2015. Credit: Dennis Van Tine/MediaPunch/IPX
STATEN ISLAND, NY - MARCH 20: Aftermath photo of head on collision between a tractor-trailer and an automobile carrying 3 Linden police officers and a civilian employee, killing two and leaving two others in critical condition. The car was traveling in the wrong direction on the southbound West Shore Expressway at about 5 a.m. when the crash occurred in Staten Island, New York City on March 20, 2015. Credit: Dennis Van Tine/MediaPunch/IPX
Pedro Abad was behind the wheel when he drove the wrong way down the highway and crashed head-on into a tractor-trailer. 
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His license was restored in March 2014, but he had to use an ignition lock until September 2014. Abad, who was hired as a police officer in 2008, was on the force at the time of the suspension. Linden police Capt. James Sarnicki said any discipline would be an internal personnel matter and would not be made public.

Abad was among four people in a car early Friday when he drove the wrong way on a Staten Island highway after a night at a New York strip club, crashing head-on into a tractor-trailer.

Hours before the crash, Abad had posted a photo on his Instagram page of three shot glasses filled with what he identified as "Jack Daniels Fire on the house." Investigators have applied for a warrant to test Abad's blood-alcohol level.

Officer Frank Viggiano and friend Joe Rodriguez - both 28 - died in the crash. Abad, 27, and 23-year-old Officer Patrik Kudlac were in critical but stable condition.

All three of the officers were off-duty at the time.

The truck driver suffered injuries that were not considered life-threatening.

New Jersey officials said there was one other violation on Abad's record. He was cited after a car accident for driving with a cellphone in August 2012.

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