If you have been to a government building today, you may be wondering why the flag in front of it is flying at half staff. Earlier this week, Gov. Chris Christie ordered that all state institutions to lower their flags to half staff in honor of a New Jersey police officer who was killed during a car accident involving a driver who was under the influence of a controlled substance.
According to police reports, the 37-year-old officer, who served on the Mount Arlington police force for several years before his death, was traveling eastbound on I-80 when the fatal accident occurred. Just after midnight, a vehicle that was traveling westbound on the interstate suddenly swerved across the median and in the path of the officer's police cruiser.
The force of the collision pushed the officer's cruiser off the interstate into the woods. He was taken by helicopter to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 1:25 a.m. The following day, 20 New Jersey police officers escorted their fallen comrade to a Phillipsburg nursing home, where a public viewing will reportedly be held tomorrow. The officer is survived by his wife.
The 29-year-old driver of the other car was not injured in the crash. He was allegedly high on a controlled substance at the time of the accident, and has been arrested and charged with aggravated manslaughter, vehicular homicide, driving while intoxication, speeding, and reckless driving. This is reportedly not his first drug-related offense.
If you have suffered an injury or lost a loved one in a car accident, please contact Breslin & Breslin for a free consultation.
Source: The Star-Ledger, "Flags across N.J. to fly at half staff for Mount Arlington police officer killed in car crash," Ryan Hutchins, Oct. 18, 2011