BAYCHESTER, NY (PIX11)—The last time anyone saw twenty-nine year old Reginald Velez alive was at the Pelham Bay diner in the Baychester section of the Bronx.
Velez was a police officer in Mt. Vernon, NY. He had been off for two days and was off-duty early Thursday morning when he and some friends went for a bite to eat . But after he ordered food he decided to not eat and left the diner.
His car went airborne, spun around multiple times before bursting into flames on the highway and he died instantly. His body Was so badly burned, it was only identified by the license plate on the His 2009 Lexus. The driver of he truck said he just couldn't get out of the way in time.
"It's a traumatic day for the city of Mt. Vernon," said Police Commissioner Carl Bell.
Velez had joined the force two years ago after working in retail. He led the force in arrests as a patrolman and worked hard fighting to get illegal guns off the street.
"He was very happy about becoming a police officer, an accomplishment he was very proud of, says Gregory Addison."
Outside the Mt. Vernon precinct today flags were at half staff and bunting hung outside the building as members of the department tried to come to grips with this tragic and sudden loss.
Velez was engaged and had plans to start a family.
The NYPD is handling the investigation into this wrong way crash and if alcohol may have been a factor.