For the next month all city flags will be flying at half staff to honor a Philadelphia highway patrol officer who was killed over the weekend by a driver going southbound in the northbound lane of I-95.
Police officer Brian Lorenzo was in full uniform and operating a police Highway Patrol motorcycle on July 8 at 3:15 a.m. in the vicinity of Cottman Avenue. Officer Lorenzo was moving northbound when he was struck by a 2010 Audi A-6 being driven by John Leck Jr. who was allegedly driving under the influence. Officer Lorenzo died at the scene, and Leck will be charged with homicide by vehicle, DUI and related offenses. He is in stable condition at Aria Torresdale Hospital.
Officer Lorenzo, 48, is survived by his wife Linda and three children, and he was a 23-year veteran of the force. His family has so far declined to comment to the press regarding the tragedy but Mayor Michael Nutter said that Officer Lorenzo exemplified the best qualities of police officers.
“For 23 years, Brian Lorenzo went to work every day putting his life on the line for Philadelphians,” Mayor Nutter said. “As a uniformed public servant, a member of the most professional municipal police force in the country, he gave his heart and soul to his job and to all of us. Early this morning, as he was on his way home on his Highway Patrol motorcycle, he was hit by a motorist driving the wrong way on I-95. Our condolences and prayers go out to Linda, his wife of 25 years, their three children and Brian’s entire family, including his brother Manuel, who is a Philadelphia police officer in the 25th District, as they try to cope with the loss of Brian. As citizens of this great city, we will never forget the sacrifice that our police officers make every day, nor will we forget Brian Lorenzo, a decorated officer who exemplified the very best qualities of law enforcement.”
Lorenzo, 48, was born in the Bronx, N.Y., and moved to Philadelphia with his family while he was still a boy. He graduated from Frankford High School and married his high school sweetheart, Linda. Prior to joining the Philadelphia Police Department, Lorenzo worked for a sheet metal company. After completing police academy training, Lorenzo was assigned to the 25th Police District, where he served for eight years. For the last 15 years, he had been a member of the department’s elite Highway Patrol unit. He was decorated with five commendations of merit and received four commissioner’s letters praising his work.
A viewing will be held for Officer Lorenzo on Thursday evening, July 12 at Givnish Funeral Home, located at 10975 Academy Road in Northeast Philadelphia. The funeral mass will take place Friday at 11:00 a.m. at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul at 1723 Race Street in Center City.