Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Police Report Shows Officer Who Fatally Struck L.I. Woman Was Speeding
BELLMORE, N.Y. — A Long Island man is demanding justice after an investigation revealed that a police officer was speeding when he struck and killed his wife.
Howie Lang recalled his reaction when he saw the full police report into the death of his wife Sherry.
“Actually I was quite, quite angry at that point. It wasn’t just being sad, it was anger,” Lang told CBS 2′s Tony Aiello.
Lang’s wife was struck by a Nassau County police car last April while crossing busy Merrick Road in Bellmore. The preliminary report estimated the cop car was doing 30 m.p.h. in a 35-mile-per-hour speed zone.
But now, a full police reconstruction obtained by CBS 2 showed the police car was actually going almost 54 m.p.h. at the time of impact and had been traveling 60 m.p.h. just 20 seconds before Sherry Lang was struck around 10:30 p.m. on a rainy night with poor visibility.
“If it was a civilian that did that, they would take them and go crazy with it,” Howie Lang said.
The investigation found Officer Ernie Thompson was not on an emergency run and wasn’t using his lights or sirens.
“At the speed the officer was actually going, her chances of survival are maybe one in five. So his speed was her death sentence,” Tom Cascione, the Lang Family Attorney, said.
“It’s absurd. I wouldn’t have gone 60 m.p.h. on the parkway in those conditions. There’s no excuse,” the victim’s son, Brent, said.
The family said nine months after the accident, they’re still waiting to hear if Thompson will be disciplined by county police or lose his driver’s license.
Last week Thompson was supposed to testify at a Department of Motor Vehicles hearing. A police department lawyer tried to get Thompson excused, but that was denied.
The Lang family will be there when the hearing takes place in the next few weeks.