An off-duty NYPD officer had a blood alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit when he drove the wrong way on the NY Thruway last month and killed another motorist and himself. State police released a toxicology report yesterday showing that Richard E. Christopher, 32, had a blood-alcohol content of 0.21 percent when he pulled an illegal U-turn on the Thruway near Suffern and drove his Dodge Dakota pickup truck south in the northbound lanes.
.08 percent is the legal limit in New York State. According to the toxicology report, no drugs beside alcohol were found in Christopher's system in the wake of the August 12th crash.
Officer Richard Christopher
Christopher crashed head-on into James DeVito, a 59-year-old man who was driving his SUV in the correct direction. Both were pronounced dead at the scene. Ray Florida, head of Rockland Paramedic Services, told the Journal News, "Both of them had airbags and seatbelts, but the impact was so great that none of that helped. You can't survive that kind of damage."
DeVito was the executive chef at Mount St. Mary College in Newburgh. His father told the Journal News, "The fact that he is a police officer and drunk makes no sense at all. It's a sorry shame. My son was a beautiful guy. He was a master chef, he was a musician, he was a good family man."