NYPD brass have put officers on modified duty after a Queens ATV crash killed two people Friday.
Police are reportedly investigating whether the pair of cops from the 108th Precinct were chasing the illegal dirt bikers in the lead up to the motorcycle crashing into a tractor trailer at the foot of the Queensboro Bridge in Long Island City in the early hours of Aug. 19, the Daily News reported.
The NYPD’s press office did not confirm details of the internal probe.
The ATV’s driver, 22-year-old Bronxite Angel Lopez, was killed in the crash and his unidentified male passenger later died in the hospital from wounds sustained in the collision.
The cops’s modification drew criticism from the head of the city’s largest police union.
“The NYPD needs to decide whether enforcing quality of life issues is really a priority,” said Police Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch in a statement Sunday, Aug. 21.
“These police officers and cops across the city have been told to prioritize getting illegal bikes and ATVs off the streets, because the community is sick of them,” Lynch added. “They should not be punished for doing the job they were sent out to do.”
Mayor Eric Adams and his predecessor Bill de Blasio have vowed to crack down on ATV and other dirt bikes that are illegal to operate on New York City’s streets.
Lopez crashed into the truck at Queens Plaza South and Jackson Avenue just before 1:40 a.m. on Aug. 19, according to the NYPD.
They were ejected from the ATV and the trucker ran over Lopez with his rear tire, according to police.
Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene and brought his passenger to NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, where he died of severe head and body wounds.
Police have not yet released his identity.
The 36-year-old male truck driver stayed on the scene and was uninjured.