Two Pemberton Township firefighters were killed in a motorcycle accident in Woodland Township, New Jersey Saturday.
Investigators were called to Buzzard Hill Road, east of Route 72, around 2:09 p.m. for a report of an accident involving two sports bikes.
Police say 31-year-old Lieutenant Joseph Randazzo, Jr. was driving a 2009 Yamaha R1 motorcycle with his passenger, 22-year-old Fire Police Officer Erin Phillips. Investigators say Randazzo was speeding and clipped another motorcycle. Both were thrown from the bike and killed, according to investigators.
Department Chief Craig Augustoni says everyone with the department was together at the fire expo less than an hour before the crash.
“Two hours, our whole lives changed. Not one but two firefighters, so it’s been very tough. We’re working through it with the families and our firefighters right now, it’s been very devastating to them,” said Chief Augustoni.
Randazzo and Phillips served at the Pemberton Township's Brown Mills Volunteer Fire Company on Browns Mills Road. Grieving firefighters and friends left dozens of messages on the fire station’s Facebook page. Randazzo had been with the department for about six years. Phillips had been there for about three years. She and her boyfriend, also a firefighter, had a baby four months ago, according to co-workers.
“I am just going to miss him. I am going to miss his goofy smile and her smile, they were great people to be around,” said Deputy Chief David Force.
No one else was injured in the crash.
The accident is still under investigation, according to authorities.
Credit Brown Mills Volunteer Fire Company