'Happy-Go-Lucky' Westchester Police Officer Killed In Highlands Crash

A 23-year-old Westchester County police officer was killed in a Hudson Valley crash.

Port Chester Police Officer Christopher Bernal was killed in a crash over the weekend. 

Port Chester Police Officer Christopher Bernal was killed in a crash over the weekend. 

Photo Credit: Port Chester Police Department

The crash occurred in Orange County at approximately 1:50 p.m. on Sunday, July 7, in the town of Highlands on Route 9W northbound according to Trooper Steven Nevel of the New York State Police.

Port Chester Police Officer Christopher Bernal, who was driving a 2004 Honda motorcycle northbound on SR 9W, was killed when he failed to negotiate a curve in the roadway, Nevel said.

The vehicle exited the highway and struck a parked, occupied 2023 GMC Acadia in a scenic pull-off. 

Bernal was transported to Montefiore St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital in Newburgh by the town of Highlands EMS, who attempted to perform live-saving measures.

The front-seat passenger of the GMC was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, Nevel said.

The investigation is ongoing.

The Port Chester Police said the department had suffered "an unimaginable loss."

"We as a department are heartbroken by this tragic news," they said.

They added that Bernal, a one-year department member, was an "all-around happy-go-lucky kid, whose smile was from ear to ear; he truly loved his job and fellow members of the department."

The department asks the public to keep his family and the department members in their thoughts and prayers.

"PO. Bernal will be missed; this one is a tough one," they said.

The department thanked the following for helping:

  • Rye Police Department
  • Westchester County Police Department
  • Westchester Blue Foundation
  • Department Chaplin, Qwalvy Grainsvolt
  • New York State Police Troop F

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