BRONX — An off-duty police officer from Mount Vernon was killed in a fiery wreck in Baychester early Thursday after his car crashed into a tractor-trailer while he was driving the wrong direction, authorities said.
Reginald Velez, 29, was driving a 2002 Lexus sedan on the I-95 thruway at East Gun Hill Road about 2:33 a.m. when he collided with the tractor-trailer in the northbound lane, police and fire sources said.
The officer was driving southbound when the northbound tractor-trailer struck him, causing the smaller vehicle to catch fire, authorities said. No one else was injured in the crash.
Velez was pronounced dead at the scene, officials said.
The officer joined the Mount Vernon Police Department in January 2010 and was assigned to the Patrol Division, according to police.
"On behalf of the men and women of the Mount Vernon Police Department, we offer our deepest sympathy and condolences to the Velez family," MVPD Commissioner Carl Bell said in a statement.
"Officer Velez was a young and promising officer and will be sorely missed by his extended family at the Mount Vernon Police Department."