THE BRONX — A rookie NYPD officer was killed when a department van he was riding in crashed in Hunts Point, injuring eight other passengers and throwing him into the roadway, officials said.
Michael Williams, 25, was in a right-hand passenger seat of the NYPD van when it slammed into a concrete barrier on the Bruckner Expressway near Bryant Avenue about 5 a.m. Sunday and ejected him from the vehicle, police officials said.
Williams, whose father is a veteran of the upstate Carmel Police Department, was taken to Lincoln Medical Center and pronounced dead, according to the NYPD.
His father was devastated, NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton said.
"He’s probably seen it all, but never expected to see something like this involving his own son," the commissioner said.
Williams' parents raced to the hospital and traveled with their only child's body as it was taken to the morgue at Bellevue hospital, Bratton said.
Eight other officers were injured in the crash but were expected to make a full recovery, officials said.
Investigators were still trying to determine why the van crashed and whether any of the officers inside, including Williams, had been wearing seatbelts at the time, Bratton said.
Williams, who was working out of the Bronx's 47th Precinct after graduating in June, and the other officers had been heading to the Sunday's climate march when the crash happened, officials said.
"He was assigned to a tough precinct — a precinct where there’s a lot of work needed," Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
"He was part of a team that was turning things around. I know that was a source of pride.
"Officer Williams’ dream was to be a police officer. He came from a police family. This is what he wanted to do with his life. He got there. He fulfilled his dream."
Williams' wake will be held Wednesday at McHoul Funeral Home at 895 Route 82 in Hopewell Junction, with visiting hours from 2 to 4 p.m. and again between 7 and 9 p.m.
His funeral will be 11 a.m. Thursday at St. Kateri Tekakwitha Church, at 1925 Route 82 in LaGrangeville. Following the service, he'll be buried in the family plot at Union Valley Cemetery in Mahopac.