Officer in wrong-way crash had prior driving incidents

Authorities have released new information regarding the record of the driver in a wrong-way crash in Staten Island that killed a Linden police officer and a friend.

According to the state Motor Vehicle Commission, the driver in that crash, Officer Pedro Abad Jr., was charged with driving while under the influence in Rahway in 2013.

However, News 12 New Jersey has learned Abad had another driving incident in 2011 along the Roselle/Linden border.

A Roselle police accident report shows Abad, then a 23-year-old Linden officer, was suspected of drunken driving after a crash into the New Way Supermarket along East St. Georges Avenue. The Audi he was driving jumped a curb and crashed into some street signs.

The report says he went to the hospital and that blood was drawn, but the results were marked "pending." A spokesman for the Roselle Police Department says Abad was issued summonses for DUI and careless driving. However, the 2011 crash is listed only as an accident report on Abad's state driving record. 

Abad also was cited for using his cellphone while driving after being involved in a crash in 2012.

Click here to read the full police report from the 2013 incident in Rahway

Investigators are working to determine what caused Friday's crash.

Linden Police Capt. James Sarnicki said Monday that Officers Pedro Abad Jr. and Patrik Kudlac remained in critical but stable condition. Linden Officer Frank Viggiano and friend Joe Rodriguez were killed in the crash. Both were 28.

Authorities say the four men were headed home from a gentleman's club when their car drove the wrong way down the West Shore Expressway and crashed head-on into a tractor-trailer. The officers were off duty.

The truck driver suffered injuries that weren't life-threatening.

Viggiano's viewing is scheduled for Wednesday. His funeral is Thursday in Linden. 

The Linden Police department had no comment Tuesday about Officer Abad's driving records. A spokesman for the Roselle Police department says no favoritism was shown to Officer Abad during his 2011 incident.

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