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police: Nassau cop hit by drunken driver... He's in a coma


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  • police: Nassau cop hit by drunken driver... He's in a coma

    police: Nassau cop hit by drunken driver

    BY STACEY ALTHERR | [email protected]
    5:57 PM EDT, May 18, 2008

    A Nassau County police officer was seriously injured when a drunken driver with a suspended license slammed into his police car during a traffic stop early Sunday morning on the Long Island Expressway, authorities said.

    "We're all saying a prayer for him," said Nassau County Police Commissioner Lawrence Mulvey outside Nassau University Medical Center Sunday afternoon, where the injured officer had just come out of surgery for a blood clot on the brain.

    The accident happened at 5:50 a.m. on the eastbound lane by the Sunnyside Boulevard overpass near Exit 46, and halted traffic for more than five hours.

    Police Officer Kenneth Baribault had pulled over a black Kia sport utility vehicle to the right side of the road on suspicion of drunken driving when the driver of a silver Mercedes CLK320 plowed into the back of the police cruiser, pushing the police car into the SUV and lifting it 6 feet off the ground. Witnesses said the Mercedes was traveling at about 75 miles per hour when it hit the patrol car.

    The driver of the Mercedes, Rahiem Griffin, 27, was also taken to NUMC with minor injuries. He will be charged with driving while intoxicated, officials said. According to police, Griffin was driving with a suspended license. DMV records show his license was suspended for unpaid driving tickets, including failure to wear a seat belt on two separate occasions.

    The driver of the SUV, Marcin Bykuc, 25, of Bay Shore, was not injured, and was charged with driving while intoxicated. A passenger in the SUV, who was not identified, was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

    Baribault was taken by ambulance to the hospital.

    "The officer sustained very serious injuries, including severe head trauma," Det. Lt. Kevin Smith said, as well as broken bones in both his upper and lower torso.

    An unidentified New York City firefighter, who witnessed the accident while traveling on the westbound side of the expressway on his way to work, ran across six lanes of the highway and over the center divider to give medical aid to the police officer, and used the patrol car's transmitter to radio for help. Smith said that the career firefighter, who also has emergency medical training, may also be a volunteer for a Long Island fire department.

    Mulvey had a conversation with the firefighter, and described him as a very humble man who doesn't want publicity. "He just wanted to do what he could to help us," Mulvey said.

    Doctors removed part of the 30-year-old officer's skull to relieve swelling, according to Mulvey. He was still in a coma on Sunday afternoon.

    The officer's distraught parents, two sisters and ex-wife, who is the mother of his 6-year-old son, were at the intensive care unit, according to Smith. "Obviously, it's a very disturbing scene," he said of the family's vigil for the officer.

    Unmarked police cars and media satellite trucks lined the parking lot at the emergency room Sunday afternoon. Inside the hospital, dozens of police officers waited outside the Intensive Care Unit for news on their colleague.

    Baribault, who graduated from the Nassau County police academy in March 2005, also had served in the New York City Police Department and with the Prince William police in Virginia, as well as with Suffolk County Park Police. He was a "very active police officer" who worked hard to get drunken drivers off the road, according to James Carver, the newly elected president of Nassau Police Benevolent Association. He was at the top of his graduating class at the academy, Carver said. "This is a guy who knew what he wanted to do with his life."

    Family members told Carver that Baribault, who was devoted to his son, liked to keep in shape, which doctors believe will help him survive his injuries. "He's a tough guy, and that will work to his advantage," Carver said.

    That's the car that hit the officer RMP

    So I was driving towards school today for my graduation ceremony and I drove by this, I drove around that area going on the west bound side around 8:30am and at that time they still had the whole east bound traffic blocked off with one lane open. I've never seen so many NCPD officers at the same time around 10patrol cars blocking the HWY plus the investigators + a couple of Suffolk county police cars since it was on the border of the two counties. When I drove by going west bound, I looked and I saw the car and I could tell it was bad because all the damage to the car, I hope the officer makes a speedy recovery.
    Forum Member
    Last edited by John2008; 05-20-2008, 12:15 PM.
    "Why you harassing me?"

  • #2
    If only the drunks died and got seriously injured, I would think, "Oh well." But it's almost always the innocent.


    • #3
      I hate drunk drivers


      • #4
        I said my prayers for him when I heard it on the local news last night.
        Freakin drunken fools !!!!


        • #5
          Damn drunks. Will say a prayer for him and his family. Stay safe my friends!


          • #6
            Thoughts and prayers en-route
            Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.



            • #7
              Forum Member
              Last edited by GrayState; 01-25-2013, 06:37 PM.


              • #8
                Un B E L I E V E A B L E. If someone would have been in the back seat they surely would have been killed. The rear of the car is totally destroyed. Damn drunks!


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