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Off-duty N.Y. officer dies in crash; possible road-rage cited

The Associated Press   

NEW YORK- In a possible case of road rage, an off-duty police officer was killed early Monday when his motorcycle was rear-ended by a suspected drunken driver who was flashing a blue emergency light sometimes used by volunteer firefighters, police said.

It was unclear if the driver of the sport utility vehicle - registered in New Jersey - was a firefighter, police said.

Police said the incident began at about 12:15 a.m. when the officer, Eric Concepcion, and a companion, also on a motorcycle, pulled up next to the SUV on the Henry Hudson parkway in Manhattan. At that point, "Words may have been exchanged," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told reporters.

The suspect, with lights flashing, followed Concepcion and may have "tried to pull him over" before striking the rear of his motorcycle and running him over, Kelly said.

The suspect was taken into custody after testing above the legal blood-alcohol limit of 0.08 percent, police said. Charges were pending.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg told reporters that Concepcion, who was assigned to the Yankee Stadium detail, left behind a wife and two daughters, ages 1 and 4.

"It breaks all our hearts," the mayor said.

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