A police officer for the School District of Philadelphia died in Upper Darby on his way to work Friday night when his motorcycle collided with a pickup truck driven by a drunken driver.
Gregory Hayes, 47, of Landsdowne, was heading east on his Suzuki motorcycle on Marshall Road at 11:15 p.m., said Michael Chitwood, superintendent of Upper Darby police.
A pickup driven west on Marshall at high speed by Salome Seay, 32, of Upper Darby, made a sudden left turn at Coverly Road in front of the motorcycle, Chitwood said. He characterized Seay's driving as "aggressive."
Hayes tried to brake but could not stop in time, Chitwood said. The motorcycle hit the side of the truck and the impact propelled Hayes from the motorcycle seat, Chitwood said. He said Hayes, who was wearing a helmet, died instantly.
"The motorcycle had the right of way, but Seay was going fast, and he pulled in front of the motorcycle, trying to beat him," Chitwood said. "Instead of stopping and waiting for the motorcycle to pass, Seay just turned and drove in front of Hayes."
Seay, who told police he'd been drinking margaritas in Philadelphia, failed a field sobriety test and was taken to Delaware County Memorial Hospital, where a blood test showed the alcohol in his system exceeded the legal limit, Chitwood said, adding that he didn't know Seay's exact blood-alcohol level.
Seay was charged with homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence of alcohol, as well as aggravated assault while driving under the influence, along with two other related charges, Chitwood said.
He was being held in Delaware County Prison.
Hayes, father of two young children, was on his way to work a midnight-to-8 a.m. shift for the School District police unit, Chitwood said.
A district spokesman said officers who work that shift typically patrol the streets around school buildings in cars.