By Connor Beach
A celebration turned to tragedy Sunday night, when two off-duty NYPD officers, one of them a groom on his wedding night, were killed, and another man was injured, in a crash upstate.
State police responded at around 11:23 p.m. to reports of a single-car accident on Olivia Road in the town of Shandaken, near Ulster County.
Upon arrival, police found that NYPD officer Michael Colangelo, 31, of Huntington Station, and detective John Martinez, 39, of Hauppauge, were killed in the crash.
State Police Major Pierce Gallagher said neither of the two men wore a seatbelt and both were partially ejected from the 2018 black Maserati, which left the roadway and collided with a tree.
Colangelo was driving at the time of the crash, state police said Wednesday.
Police said both Colangelo and Martinez were pronounced dead at the scene. The third civilian occupant, who was not Colangelo’s wife, was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash, and was brought to Albany Medical Center for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.
The crash occurred just a few miles from the Full Moon Resort in upstate Big Indian, where Colangelo married Katherine Berger earlier on Sunday. The wedding reception had finished just before the accident, according to a Gofundme page dedicated in Colangelo’s memory.
Gallagher said that Martinez had rented the Maserati for the wedding, and that speed was probably a factor in the accident, which occurred on a narrow back road with a 40 mph posted speed limit.
“It was a violent impact and there was rollover involved, so yes the speed was probably excessive for that roadway,” Gallagher said.
In addition to state police, Town of Shandaken police, the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office, NYC DEP, the fire departments of Big Indian, Pine Hill, Oliveria and Phonecia, and Shandaken EMS also responded to the scene.
Police said Wednesday results from autopsy and toxicology reports were not yet complete.
Colangelo had in December become a canine officer with the NYPD Emergency Services Unit, and worked with his canine partner Jimbo, according to the NYPD Special Operations Division.
The newlywed couple planned to honeymoon in Costa Rica, according to their page on Honeyfund.com, which stated that the two had “lived together quite a while.”
The Gofundme page, which as of deadline Wednesday had raised $6,680 in 13 hours, states the “horrific turn of events has devastated Michael’s wife Katherine as well as families and friends.”
“Please help us provide some financial stability to Katherine while she tries to pick up the pieces of her life,” the post said.
Visitation for Colangelo will be held today, 2 p.m.-4 p.m. and 7 p.m.-10 p.m., at the Beney Funeral Home in Syosset. A funeral Mass is scheduled for tomorrow, 11 a.m. at St. Edward the Confessor Church in Syosset.
Colangelo is also survived by mother Ellen and father Michael.