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.
"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.