Ex-Linden cop guilty in Staten Island wrong-way DWI crash that killed 2

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A.J. Ross reports on the guilty verdict against a former New Jersey police officer. (Left: AP Photo/Julio Cortez; Right: AP Photo/Linden N.J. Police Department)

A former New Jersey police officer was convicted of all charges Thursday in a drunken wrong-way crash that killed a fellow officer and another man.

Ex-Linden Officer Pedro Abad was found guilty of aggravated vehicular homicide, aggravated vehicular assault, manslaughter and other charges.

He his friends were coming home from a strip club on Staten Island when he veered onto the other side of the West Shore Expressway and hit an oncoming truck in March of 2015.

The crash claimed the lives of Linden Officer Frank Viggiano and Linden resident Joseph Rodriguez. Another officer in the car was seriously injured.

Prosecutors said Abad was intoxicated and driving 73 miles per hour when he plowed head-on into the tractor trailer.

"There were no skid marks," Assistant District Attorney Frank Prospero said. "The defendant never used his brakes until he ran into the tractor trailer."

Abad's blood alcohol level was reported to be .24, three times the legal limit.

The sole survivor of the crash, Patrick Kudlac -- a one-time drinking buddy and fellow Linden police officer -- testified against Abad.

Kudlac described the rounds of drinks, the whiskey shots and the strip club. He was asleep in the back seat seconds before the crash.

"The truck horn woke me up," Kudlac testified. "I felt the car swerve to the left. I was looking around. I saw Frank and Joey."

"Where was Pedro?" asked the prosecutor.

"He was slumped over the steering wheel," Kudlac said. "They were all unconscious."

Abad faces up to 25 years in prison.
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