An off-duty police officer driving south in the northbound lane of the New York State Thruway this morning struck another vehicle head-on, killing himself and the other driver, NBC reports.

Officer Richard Christopher, 32, and James Devito, 59, were both pronounced dead on the scene after the 7 a.m. collision near Suffern, New York. Neither driver was carrying passengers.

Joan Christopher, Richard Christopher's grandmother, told CBS her grandson was an army veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan:

"He was just a loving son," said Joan Christopher, who also offered her family's condolences to the DeVito family. "He would do anything for anybody, but why did he have to die?

"He served in the war. He served our country. He came home and became a police officer."

Officials are investigating to find the reason Richards was driving the wrong way, and at what point he entered the highway, CBS reports.