August 14, 2006
Police Officer Is Killed in Collision

An off-duty police officer riding a motorcycle was killed in a collision on the Henry Hudson Parkway early this morning, the police said.

The motorcycle was rear-ended by a sport utility vehicle driven by a 23-year-old volunteer firefighter who flashed a blue light in what may have been an attempt to pull the officer over, the police said.

Words may have been exchanged, said Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, adding that he was uncertain how heated the exchange between the officer and the driver of the S.U.V. might have been.

As the northbound vehicles approached 134th Street, Mr. Kelly said, the car struck the motorcycle, then rolled over the officer, Eric Concepcion, 29.

The volunteer firefighter, Robert Derian, of Upper Saddle River, N.J., was found by the police to have a blood alcohol level of 0.12, well above the legal limit of 0.08, Mr. Kelly said. Mr. Derian, who the police said had been drinking at a friends residence in Manhattan, was charged today with second-degree manslaughter, vehicular homicide, driving under the influence and two counts of unauthorized use of emergency lights.

Officer Concepcion left home earlier Sunday evening on his gleaming black Kawasaki, with two friends, each driving motorcycles, according to a neighbor. At the time of the accident just after midnight, he was accompanied by only one friend, the police said.

Before the accident Officer Concepcion called his wife, Melissa Vicens, 28, to check in. She had remained at home with their 1-year-old and 4-year-old daughters.

He said Im having fun, Im riding around with the guys, Mrs. Vicens said. He loved riding his motorcycle. He said, I love you. I said, Be careful, I love you.

I wish I could say that again, she said today, standing in front of the yellow brick building where they lived together in the Bronx.

Officer Concepcion, on the force since 2000, was assigned to the 42nd Precinct, but has been working on a detail that patrols Yankee Stadium.

He was very proud, Mrs. Vicens. He was a police officer and he just loved it, everything about it, helping people. He just loved it, I dont think hed want anything else.

At the time of the accident Officer Concepcion was carrying his gun in a holster, the police said. After the accident the police searched for that weapon but were unable to find it.

The police said they did not know if he had taken it out of its holster in the confrontation with Mr. Derian.

Matthew Sweeney and Colin Moynihan contributed reporting for this article