A New Jersey state trooper was killed in a devastating one-car crash along a rural Salem County, New Jersey road Thursday.
Trooper Eli McCarson was responding to a domestic dispute call in Quinton Township around 10:45 a.m. when he steered off Quinton-Alloway Road at a curve near Route 49, state police said.
The cruiser collided with a electric pole and the impact destroyed the front-end and bent the doors trapping the 30-year-old trooper inside.
"They tried to get him out of there but the door was really stuck. It was really hard to get him out of the car," said Leah Bell, a witness who was one of the first people to reach the scene following the crash.
Once rescuers were able to remove McCarson, they took him to nearby Salem Hospital where he was pronounced dead, police said.
"This is a tragic loss for us, made even worse during this holiday season, but I know our troopers will not flinch," State Police Colonel Rick Fuentes said in a statement.
The medical examiner will make a determination on an exact cause of death. What led to the crash remains under investigation.
Susan Clow lives nearby and said a similar crash claimed another driver's life four years ago. Clow said the speed limit was recently lowered to 35 mph from 50 mph.
"It's a dangerous curve," she said.
McCarson graduated from the state police academy in February. He was assigned to the Woodstown station and was from Washington Township.
He leaves behind a wife. The couple married in September.