An East Meadow man was sentenced Friday for his role in a street race that ended in the death of a New York Police Department officer, reported the Nassau County District Attorney’s office.
Jonathan Lopez will spend 10 months behind bars after his November conviction of assault and reckless endangerment charges. He was acquitted of second-degree manslaughter.
Lopez, 22, was charged in September 2011 after being involved in a three-car crash with the off-duty NYPD Officer Kevin Jessup and FBI Special Agent Dawn Smallwood.
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Authorities said Lopez was driving his Nissan 350Z on the Southern State Parkway near Bethpage State Parkway when he collided with Jessup’s car. The force of the collision threw Lopez’s car into Smallwood’s before flipping several times, authorities said.
Lopez escaped the crash uninjured, but Jessup was rushed to Nassau University Medical Center and later pronounced dead, cops said. Smallwood, Lopez, and a passenger in Jessup’s car were treated and released from nearby hospitals.
Prosecutors said Lopez and Jessup were drag racing at the time of the collision.
“Mr. Lopez treated the road as his own personal speedway, and in doing so, put innocent drivers at risk for the sake of a cheap thrill,” NCDA Kathleen Rice said. “Today’s sentence is a strong reminder to anyone who would think of putting other lives in danger that street racers will be prosecuted for their crimes.”