RELEASE: Gottheimer Marks Five Years Since Westside Highway Attack Tragically Killed Fifth District Constituent Darren Drake

Oct 31, 2022


Gottheimer’s Bipartisan Legislation to Combat Terror Truck Attacks is Moving Through Congress

Above: Gottheimer with Darren Drake’s father, Jimmy Drake, in January 2022.

NORTH JERSEY — Today, October 31, 2022, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer marked five years since the tragic October 2017 New York City terrorist truck attack, which killed New Milford resident Darren Drake. Gottheimer also announced today that his bipartisan legislation named in Darren’s memory to help stop ISIS-inspired terrorists from using trucks and other vehicles as weapons of mass destruction — the Darren Drake Act — is moving through Congress.

Gottheimer’s bipartisan Darren Drake Act (H.R.4089) passed the House in October 2021 with sweeping bipartisan support. Gottheimer is now pushing for the bipartisan provisions to be included in the final annual defense investment bill (the National Defense Authorization Act) sent to the President’s desk.

To help prevent terrorist truck attacks, the bipartisan Darren Drake Act will:

  • Require the Department of Homeland Security to develop and disseminate best practices for vehicle rental companies and dealers to report suspicious behavior to law enforcement, helping them stop potential threats in their paths. These best practices will be developed and updated in consultation with federal, state and local law enforcement, as well as industry stakeholders.
  • Require the Secretary of Homeland Security to report to Congress regarding the implementation of these best practices and other ways they are working to help improve coordination between the Department and rental vehicle providers.

“It’s hard to believe that it’s been five years since New Milford and the Drake family lost their son Darren. Five years since an ISIS-inspired lone wolf terrorist rented a vehicle, used it as a weapon of terror on the West Side Highway, and killed their son and other innocent souls. Five years since Darren’s dad, Jimmy, sat across from me and, with tears in his eyes, declared that no other family should suffer what he, his mother, Barbara, and their family had – and that we must take action, in Congress, in the country they love, to stop any terrorist on American soil from deploying the same heinous tactics that had killed their son,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5), a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security. “With the Darren Drake Act now moving through Congress, I’m bringing both Democrats and Republicans together to support a commonsense bipartisan bill aimed at stopping ISIS-inspired and other domestic terrorists from easily acquiring trucks and other vehicles to wreak havoc and cause mass destruction and death. There is no time to waste, and we must use every weapon in our arsenal against terror.”

In January this year, Gottheimer joined with the family of New Milford resident Darren Drake, local leaders, and law enforcement to call for critical steps to fight back against ISIS-inspired Lone Wolf terrorist attacks.


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