Optimum Customers: Your Newsday access has been extended until Oct 1st. Enroll now to continue your access.

60° Good Morning
60° Good Morning
Long IslandSuffolk

Riverhead police dog killed in crash after vehicle flees DWI checkpoint, cops say

K-9 Rocky, who had been had been with

K-9 Rocky, who had been had been with the Riverhead Town Police Department since May 2011, was killed early Sunday during the pursuit of a man who fled a DWI checkpoint. Photo Credit: Riverhead Town Police

A police dog with the Riverhead Town Police Department died and two officers suffered nonlife-threatening injuries early Sunday after a vehicle fled a sobriety checkpoint and a pursuing K-9 patrol unit crashed, authorities said.

Officers with the police department were conducting the checkpoint at about 2:30 a.m. on Peconic Avenue in Riverhead when a dark-colored Audi sedan entered and an investigating officer directed the driver to stop for further questioning, police said in a news release.

The male driver of the Audi abruptly drove off, striking an officer before several Riverhead police patrol units set off in pursuit, officials said.

A K-9 patrol unit taking part in the pursuit struck a utility pole on West Main Street near Raynor Avenue in Riverhead after the officer behind the wheel lost control, police said.

Rocky, a police dog assigned to the unit, was ejected from the vehicle and killed, police said. His police officer handler and the officer struck by the Audi were transferred to a hospital for treatment of their injuries.

Police said Rocky had been with the town police since May 2011.

Eventually, the pursuit was deemed too dangerous and called off in Manorville, police said.

Latest Long Island News

Important message for Optimum customers

Your Newsday digital access is changing as of 10/1

You recently received an email from Optimum’s parent company, Altice USA, informing you that Altice will no longer offer free Newsday digital access with Optimum's online service. Through an exclusive trial offer for Optimum customers, Newsday is pleased to extend your digital access at no cost until the end of the year.

I understand, no thanks