A Suffolk police officer investigating a drunken driving crash early...

A Suffolk police officer investigating a drunken driving crash early Thursday in Dix Hills was struck and injured by a second alleged drunken driver as he sat in his patrol vehicle, authorities said. Credit: Barry Sloan

A Suffolk County police officer investigating a drunken driving crash early Thursday in Dix Hills was injured when a second alleged drunken driver hit him, authorities said.

The officer was at the scene of the crash at 4 a.m. near the corner of East Jericho Turnpike and Dix Hills Road, where a 2023 Hyundai had struck a pole. In that crash, police said, Dimitrios Thomopoulos, 27, of Old Westbury, was charged with driving while intoxicated. He was not injured.

While the officer was waiting for the Hyundai to be towed away, a 2016 Mini Cooper rear-ended his patrol car as he sat inside, according to police.

The officer was taken to a hospital where he was treated for his injuries and released, police said.

The driver of the Mini Cooper, James Byrne, 56, of Huntington, was treated at a hospital for injuries in the crash and charged with driving while intoxicated, police said. 

Thomopoulos pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Thursday in First District Court in Central Islip and was released on his own recognizance, according to court records. He is scheduled to return to court May 10. Court records contained no information about a defense attorney.

Court information for Byrne, or whether he had legal representation, was not available late Thursday.

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