New Jersey police officer dies in Teaneck crash

October 26, 2010 4:03:12 AM PDT
Shortly after a 17-year veteran of the Teaneck Police Department was helping to save someone's life, his own life ended in a single-car crash.

"Whenever there was an officer in need, or a family in crisis, somebody needed a favor, John [Abraham] was really always there," Capt. Mark Distler said.

In his memory, they came to eulogize the 37-year-old Abraham as a man they truly believe was meant to be police officer.

"His wife said to me, he died doing what he wanted to do," Teaneck Police Chief Robert Wilson said. "He always said to her, if I die, I want to die at work."

Officer Abraham was found in the twisted wreckage of his patrol car. Police are still not sure how the accident occurred.

He died an hour after he was rushed to the hospital.

His tragic death in the unexplained accident came only hours after he had saved another man's life at the Etc. Steakhouse.

Abraham, one of the first in the door, tried to revive a man choking on a piece of steak.

"He remained very calm and tried to do everything he could in his power to get the man to breathe again," hostess Michelle Micek said.

He worked on the man until EMTs arrived and rushed the man to the hospital, where he was recovering. It was oddly the same hospital Abraham would be rushed to after his accident hours later.

Abraham's career track was on the rise, being promoted to detective investigator.

His heart, though, was in helping people.

"John so much wanted to be a police officer that he actually came in and asked us if he could go back to patrol," Wilson said.

Having watched him save a life hours before, Micek was struck to hear of his loss.

"I was actually shocked. That is a complete tragedy, to save somebody's life and then to lose your own," she said.