Police: New Jersey cop killed by alleged DUI driver on I-80
A veteran New Jersey police officer was killed while on-duty over the weekend in a traffic accident. The accident reportedly occurred just after midnight Sunday on Interstate 80. Police say a 29-year-old Howell man lost control of his Mitsubishi Lancer while speeding on the Interstate. The Mitsubishi crossed the median and slammed into the officer’s marked squad car.
Police say an empty bottle of methadone was tucked into the center console of the Mitsubishi. Law enforcement believes the Howell man was under the influence at the time of the car accident. Emergency personnel rushed the injured officer by helicopter to Morristown Memorial Hospital after the crash. Doctors pronounced the Mount Arlington officer dead at 1:25 a.m.
Police interviewed witnesses who say the Mitsubishi was weaving in and out of traffic before the crash. The driver may also have been distracted. Morris County Assistant Prosecutor Kelley Lavery says the driver may have been on his cellphone when he lost control of the Mitsubishi.
Police arrested the Howell man, who faces charges of aggravated manslaughter, driving while intoxicated, vehicular homicide, reckless driving and speeding related to the incident. The accused is being held on $500,000 bond.
The dangers to New Jersey drivers that drunk driving pose is not a new concept. Distracted driving has also become a topic of interest as states, including New Jersey, continue to crack down on distracted drivers. Certainly Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has been outspoken on the dangers that surround distracted driving. Yet, accidents involving alcohol and distracted driving continue to take lives.
Jersey City personal injury attorneys know that injuries and fatalities in traffic accidents can leave victims and their families devastated. It is important to speak with an experienced New Jersey personal injury attorney soon after an accident to learn what options may be available in civil court.