By Oren Liebermann, Mike Dougherty and Dan Wing
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A veteran Philadelphia highway patrol officer is dead, after his motorcycle was struck by a wrong-way driver on I-95 northbound early Sunday morning.
“Around 3:15 a.m. this morning, Police Officer Brian Lorenzo, assigned to Highway Patrol, was en route home from work, just shy of the Cottman Avenue exit, was struck by a vehicle driving in the southbound lane,” said Deputy Commissioner Richard Ross.
Officer Brian Lorenzo was 48-years old and a 23-year veteran. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
“It just appears that Officer Lorenzo had absolutely no chance to evade this male. And it’s just a sad, sad day for us,” Ross Said
The driver of the striking car, who police have identified as 48-year old John Leck Jr. of Levittown, Pa., was supposedly found to be driving under the influence.
Police say Leck Jr. will be charged with vehicular homicide , DUI and related offenses.
Officer Lorenzo leaves behind a wife and three children. He and his family were honored with a moment of silence prior to Sunday’s Phillies game.
Mayor Nutter released the following statement:
“For 23 years, Brian Lorenzo went to work every day putting his life on the line for Philadelphians. As a uniformed public servant, a member of the most professional municipal police force in the country, he gave his heart and soul to his job and to all of us. Early this morning, as he was on his way home on his Highway Patrol motorcycle, he was hit by a motorist driving the wrong way on I-95.
Our condolences and prayers go out to Linda, his wife of 25 years, their three children and Brian’s entire family, including his brother Manuel, who is a Philadelphia police officer in the 25th District, as they try to cope with the loss of Brian. As citizens of this great city, we will never forget the sacrifice that our police officers make every day nor will we forget Brian Lorenzo, a decorated officer who exemplified the very best qualities of law enforcement.
I ask all Philadelphians to reflect on Brian’s service, to remember him in their prayers and to share their thoughts and condolences with his wife and family and the thousands of Philadelphia police officers who ensure our safety each and every day and who have suffered a terrible loss.
I have ordered that all City flags be lowered to half-staff for the next 30 days in honor of our friend and great public servant, Brian Lorenzo.”
About Officer Lorenzo:
Lorenzo was born in the Bronx, N.Y. and moved to Philadelphia with his family in his elementary school years. He graduated from Frankford High School and married his high school sweetheart, Linda. Prior to joining the Philadelphia Police Department, Lorenzo worked for a sheet metal company.
After completing his rigorous police academy training, Lorenzo was assigned to the 25th Police District where he served for eight years. For the last 15 years, he has been a highly decorated member of the department’s Highway Patrol.
Lorenzo garnered five commendations of merit for superior police work demonstrating “special initiative and perseverance in the performance of police duties,” according to the departmental director No. 1. He also received four commissioner’s letters extolling his work as well as numerous commendatory letters from the public.
Funeral arrangements have not yet been set.