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Reports: Drunk Off-Duty NYPD Officer Kills Pedestrian in Staten Island

Update: The victim of this crash was identified as William Hemphill, 51.

A pedestrian was killed by an intoxicated off-duty NYPD officer in Staten Island this morning, according to reports.

The crash happened on Richmond Terrace near Simonson and Lake Avenues at around 6:15 a.m., when the male victim was hit by the driver of a Ford SUV. The Daily News says the man was crossing Simonson when he was struck.

NY1 reports that the 29-year-old driver is an officer with the 121st Precinct, where the crash occurred.

Sources say the victim landed on the car and the officer just kept driving.

He then allegedly fled the scene but returned about a half an hour later.

Officials tell NY1 the officer has been with the department since 2005 and finished his shift Thursday around 6 p.m.

The victim, whose age is being reported as 51 and 59, was taken to Richmond University Medical Center in cardiac arrest and died soon after, reports said.

WABC says the officer was charged with drunk driving.

The NYPD public information office had no details as of this writing.

Drunk driving by off-duty NYPD personnel is a chronic and deadly problem, with officers killing themselves and innocent bystanders. Four years ago this month, NYPD detective Kevin Spellman hit 70-year-old Bronx pedestrian Drane Nikac in the Bronx. Weeks earlier, off-duty cop Andrew Kelly fatally struck Vionique Valnord in Brooklyn. In February 2010, three off-duty officers were arrested for driving under the influence over a span of 11 days, one of them having flipped a car on a Midtown sidewalk. The list of similar incidents is seemingly endless.

When an off-duty homicide detective killed himself by slamming into a garbage truck on the BQE in 2009, union reps called for NYPD to change the way it handles detectives' shift assignments in hopes of reducing drinking and driving during off-hours.

We will follow this case as it develops.

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