NYPD Groom and Fellow Officer Killed in Wedding Day Crash: 'The Speed Was Excessive'

NYPD officer Michael Colangelo died on his wedding day.
NYPD officer Michael Colangelo and his bride, Katherine Berger. Facebook

On his wedding day, a New York Police Department officer was killed, along with a fellow cop, when their rented Maserati veered off a two-lane country road, slammed into a tree and flipped over, authorities said.

Michael Colangelo, 31, the groom, and Det. John Martinez, 39, were pronounced dead at the scene in the upstate town of Shandaken. It appeared neither officer was wearing a seat belt, according to New York State Police.

A third person, in the backseat, was wearing a harness and has been hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

The survivor has not been identified, but authorities said the bride was not in the luxury sports car.

"As far as we can tell, they were taking this car out for a ride," State Police Maj. Pierce Gallagher said at a Monday press conference. "I feel comfortable saying that the speed was excessive."

Investigators are waiting on toxicology and autopsy reports. Martinez is believed to have been behind the wheel. 

Colangelo was a 10-year veteran of the department and was an emergency services K-9 officer. Martinez had 16 years on the force and was assigned to the 84th precinct in Brooklyn. He was a married father of two.

Both officers lived on Long Island.

Sunday's crash occurred about 11:30 p.m., about a mile from the Full Moon Resort, where Colangelo had married longtime girlfriend Katherine Berger, who became a wife and a widow on the same day.

The speed limit on Oliveria Road, where the accident happened, is 40 mph. It is an unlit, rural highway with winding twists and turns.

Long Island neighbor Patti Orsini told Newsday that Colangelo was "very friendly, very outgoing."

The Rev. Michael Lopez, a NYPD chaplain, met with Martinez's fellow officers Monday. "He was a great, outstanding guy and they love him," the pastor told The Associated Press. 

His brother, Thomas Martinez, said the detective was "a good dad and a good husband" who spent his off-hours with his family. Being a cop "was what he wanted to do ever since he was a little kid."

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