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Police: Groom was driver in fatal wedding day crash upstate

Investigators determined that NYPD Officer Michael Colangelo was behind the wheel of Maserati that crashed, killing him and Det. John M. Martinez.

NYPD Officer Michael Colangelo was driving the Maserati

NYPD Officer Michael Colangelo was driving the Maserati in the fatal upstate crash, State Police said Wednesday. Photo Credit: Composite: NYPD and NYSP

The groom in the wedding day crash that killed him and another NYPD officer from Long Island drove the rented Maserati that struck a tree and overturned, State Police said Wednesday.

Investigators originally had believed canine officer Michael Colangelo, of Huntington Station, was a front-seat passenger in the crash in which he and Det. John M. Martinez, of Hauppauge, were ejected.

But investigators now say Colangelo had taken the wheel.

“The initial information indicating Martinez was the driver was partially based off witnesses who observed Martinez behind the wheel as the vehicle left the resort the night of May 20, 2018. Further investigation revealed that Martinez and Colangelo switched positions at some point during the trip,” State Police said in a statement released Wednesday.

The 11:30 p.m. crash took place in Ulster County, shortly after Colangelo’s wedding reception at the Full Moon Resort in nearby Big Indian, police said. Investigators said the Maserati was going at a high rate of speed on a road with a 40-mph limit.

Police were still doing accident reconstruction and awaiting toxicology results.

Colangelo, 31, and Martinez, 39, were not wearing seat belts, police said.

A third man in the Maserati, Cody Kalina of Wantagh, was wearing a seat belt and survived. Kalina, transported to Albany Medical Center after the accident, was released Tuesday.

Investigators questioned Kalina, 28, on Tuesday about the accident, but his statements — and those of other wedding guests interviewed by police — have not been disclosed. Kalina could not be reached for comment Wedneday.

Colangelo and Martinez had worked together in the NYPD Special Operations Division, which includes the Emergency Service Unit. Colangelo was one of 12 handlers to graduate earlier this year from the Emergency Service Unit canine team.

With John Valenti

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