Bronx, NY – New York Police Department (NYPD) Officer Brian Kessler died in a head-on collision with a garbage truck as he was heading home after his night shift on Wednesday morning.
Officer Kessler, 28, had just wrapped up a 12-hour shift at the lower Manhattan headquarters and was driving home to Westchester County when the collision occurred, the New York Daily News reported.
He was traveling along Shore Road in his 2013 Chevy Equinox, when he collided head-on with a Department of Parks and Recreation garbage truck, according to Newsday.
The force of the impact decimated the front of Officer Kessler’s vehicle.
First responders found him unconscious and unresponsive when they arrived at the scene, The Journal News reported.
They extricated the uniformed officer from the mangled wreckage, and rushed him to Jacobi Medical Center.
Officer Kessler succumbed to his injuries at approximately 9:15 a.m., NYPD Assistant Chief Larry Nikunen told Newsday.
Two Parks and Recreation employees were also taken to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries.
The cause of the collision remains under investigation, but police said weather was not a factor, according to WCBS.
Officer Kessler joined the NYPD in April of 2018, and just graduated from the police academy in October, the New York Daily News reported.
He was generally assigned to the Police Service Area 8 Housing Authority, but was working a shift at the NYPD headquarters just prior to the crash, according to Newsday.
“We are deeply saddened at the loss of our brother Police Officer Brian Kessler in this tragic accident,” Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Kessler family, his fiancée, and all his NYPD colleagues, particularly those at PSA 8."
Officer Kessler’s father, Dr. Kenneth Kessler, told WPIX that he was so proud of his son when he graduated from the police academy three months ago.
“Seeing him in the uniform really made us feel like he was happy,” he said.
“I keep on thinking he’s going to call or we’re going to hear from him,” the grieving father said. “I guess the way I’m thinking about it is, he’s up in heaven.”
Ralph Dilone, a retired law enforcement officer who was also the superintendent of the building where Officer Kessler resided, said that the rookie officer was always talking about his love for his job, the New York Daily News reported.
“He was always willing to learn…He was always hardworking,” Dilone said. “His goal was to be a police officer and he finally made it.”
“He was totally dedicated to his position as a police officer,” he added. “He loved his job. It was what he dreamed of.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of New York Police Department Officer Brian Kessler, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.