Filed underCrime and Justice, Heard On, Local, News, Philadelphia, Syndicated Local, Watch + Listen
By Dan Wing, Walt Hunter, Elizabeth Hur, Steve Beck
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia police have identified the 48-year-old Levittown man they say is responsible for a tragic crash on I-95 early Sunday morning that killed a Highway Patrol officer who had just gotten done his shift. Officer Brian Lorenzo died on the scene near Cottman Avenue.
Police say John Leck Jr. was drunk and driving the wrong way on I-95 north around 3:15 a.m., when his sedan smashed into the Highway Patrol motorcycle Officer Lorenzo was riding.
Pennsylvania State Police say Leck has been charged with third degree murder, homicide by vehicle, DUI and related offenses.
Sources say Leck told investigators that prior to the deadly crash, he had been drinking for more than two hours at a restaurant in Bensalem, ringing up a tab of $42.00 for beer and liquor.
In addition, sources say Leck also told investigators that he left the restaurant around 1:30 a.m., but claims he can’t remember anything that happened between that time and the crash.
Leck remains in the hospital, but he is expected to be released either Monday or Tuesday to face formal charges.
Deputy Police Commissioner Richard Ross says there was nothing Officer Lorenzo could do to avoid the accident.
“It just appears that Officer Lorenzo had absolutely no chance to evade this male, and it’s just a sad, sad day for us.”
The 48-year-old officer had served the city of Philadelphia for 23-years, and was a highly decorated officer, receiving five commendations of merit for superior police work.
Ross says Officer Lorenzo leaves behind a wife and three children.
“He was just well-respected and hearts go out to that family. I can’t begin to tell you how tough it is to notify a family of such a horrible incident.”
A viewing will be held for Officer Lorenzo on Thursday evening at Givnish Funeral Home in Northeast Philadelphia and a funeral mass will take place Friday morning at 11 at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Center City.
The Fraternal Order of Police Philadelphia Lodge 5 also announced Monday an account for Officer Lorenzo’s family has been set up at the Police and Fire Federal Credit Union in the name: “Brian Lorenzo Memorial Fund.”
Donations for his family can be made at any PFFCU branch or other PFFCU members can make transfers directly by phone at 215-931-0300.