DIX HILLS - Police say an NYPD officer from North Babylon was killed in a two-car crash early yesterday morning on the Long Island Expressway near exit 51.

Police have identified the victim as Joseph Pritchard, 30, of North Babylon, who was assigned to Midtown South Police.

Police say Pritchard was stopped for an unknown reason in the westbound right lane of the LIE. According to police, the truck was struck from behind by a box truck, owned by Barakat Trucking and driven by Eduardo Garcia. Both vehicles caught fire following the impact.

Pritchard was pronounced dead at the scene. Garcia, 34, of the Bronx, was transported to the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

Both vehicles were impounded for safety checks and the investigation is continuing.

The accident resulted in the closure of the LIE and massive traffic tie-ups this morning.

Detectives are asking anyone with information on the crash to call 1-800-220-TIPS.