Funeral arrangements have been made for the off-duty NYPD officer from Westchester who died this week when he drove head-on into a garbage truck.
On Wednesday, Jan. 16, New Rochelle resident Brian Kessler, 28, was driving home from an overnight shift at 1 Police Plaza at approximately 8:20 a.m. when he struck a city Parks Department garbage truck on Shore Road in Pelham Bay.
Kessler was taken to Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, where he was pronounced dead. He is survived by his fiancee, Denise Vargas, of New Rochelle, his parents Kenneth and Nancy (Landolfe) Kessler of New Rochelle and a brother, Timothy Kessler.
Visitation for Kessler will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 22 at The Westchester Funeral Home in Eastchester. Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. the following day at the Immaculate Conception Church in Tuckahoe. Interment will follow at Gate of Heaven.
The NYPD officer had been on the job for less than a year and was assigned to the Police Service Area 8 of the Housing Bureau. Two members of the Parks Department in the garbage truck at the time of the crash were treated for minor injuries at the scene.
Investigators noted that the driver of the garbage truck remained at the scene, cooperating with officers, and is not expected to face any charges.
NYPD Chief of Housing James Secreto spoke at a press conference at the hospital, saying that Kessler was "well-liked. A lot of his colleagues are distraught, as can be expected.”
On Twitter, the NYPD posted, “Today we mourn the death of one of NY’s Finest who passed away after a motor vehicle collision this morning in the Bronx. The officer just got off his shift and was heading home. Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family, friends, and fellow cops.”
The police officers’ union head, Patrick Lynch said the department was “deeply saddened” by the news of Kessler’s death in a statement.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Kessler family, his fiancée and all his NYPD colleagues, particularly those at PSA 8," he said. "We also are keeping the NYC Parks employees who were injured in our thoughts as we wish them a speedy and full recovery."
The cause of the crash remains under investigation, but according to multiple media reports, icy roads in the area may have been a factor.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to NYC PBA Widows and Children's Fund, 125 Broad Street, 11th Floor, NY, NY 10004.
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