BAYCHESTER (WPIX)—Imagine driving the wrong way down the New England Thruway/I-95 and slamming into a truck head on. It happened in the Baychester section of the Bronx killing an off-duty Mount Vernon police officer early Thursday morning.
The firey accident happened in the northbound lanes of I-95, near Coop City and the Baychester Plaza Shopping Center where I-95 goes over the Hutchinson River Parkway at Exit 11.
PIX11 News talked to the driver of that truck shortly after the accident. Rennie Cambell said he was headed north on I-95 and just couldn't avoid hitting him.
"I was coming up the highway and this guy came up onto the ramp going the wrong way. And all of a sudden he hit me. There was no way I could help it."
That driver of the car has since been identified as Mount Vernon police officer Reginald Velez. The 29-year-old was reportedly engaged. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Officials said Velez had just left the Pelham Diner on Gun Hill Road in the Bronx when he somehow entered the highway on the wrong side, ultimately colliding with the 18-wheeler.
Livery cab driver Blas Veras was driving behind Velez's car when he crashed into the truck.
"I seen the car get hit. It busted into flames and I seen the person inside and tried to save him but it was too late. Too much fire, it blew up."
No other injuries were reported and the investigation into the accident is ongoing.