LINDEN, N.J. (AP) — A former New Jersey police officer who was critically injured in a deadly crash last year on New York's Staten Island says that night remains mostly a blur to him more than a year after the wreck.
Patrik Kudlac, 25, vaguely remembers walking into and out of a strip club with his friends, but his next memory is of the March 20, 2015, crash, he told NJ.com (http://bit.ly/2dKpfoN ). Kudlac said he fell asleep in the back of former Linden Officer Pedro Abad's car before Abad drove the wrong-way onto a highway. Kudlac said he remembers only a second when the car hit a tractor-trailer, then recalls only moments of consciousness.
Kudlac remembers an image of the three other men unconscious in the wrecked vehicle, but he couldn't help them.
"I wanted to help them, but I couldn't move," Kudlac said.
Kudlac told the newspaper he and his friends received at least three rounds of shots that night and Abad had at least three drinks of whiskey and Coke along with them.
Abad had a blood-alcohol level of 0.24 — three times the legal limit to drive. He has pleaded not guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide and manslaughter.
Lawyers for Kudlac and the family of Joseph Rodriguez, who died in the crash, have filed lawsuits against the two bars the men visited. Linden Police Officer Frank Viggiano was also in the car that night, and died.
Information from: NJ Advance Media.