MINEOLA - Opening statements were heard today in the trial of an East Meadow man charged with the vehicular manslaughter of an off-duty NYPD officer in 2011.

Jonathan Lopez is accused of drag racing officer Kevin Jessup, who died after crashing his vehicle on the Southern State Parkway. Jessup was intoxicated during the incident, according to the prosecution.

Prosecutors said that Jessup “should have known better" than to have been racing and drinking. They also say Lopez was "reckless" and needs to be held responsible.

Lopez’s attorney says that the case would not have gone to trial if the deceased was not an NYPD officer. He says that Lopez broke a traffic law, but nothing more.