Officials are searching for a driver who sideswiped a state police vehicle as troopers conducted a traffic stop.
The close call was captured on dashcam video back on October 11 around 10:30 p.m. Two New Jersey state troopers from the Hamilton station pulled over a car for a minor traffic violation along I-95 in Upper Freehold Township. As the troopers stood on the passenger side, a speeding vehicle suddenly clipped the stopped car as well as the state police cruiser.
Fortunately no one was hurt during the incident.
“It was a very close call,” said New Jersey State Police Sergeant Jeff Flynn. “If the trooper was getting out of his vehicle and that vehicle had struck at that time, it would have been a tragedy.”
The speeding vehicle flattened the tire of the police cruiser and the troopers were unable to pursue. The vehicle is described as a white or silver Jeep Wrangler with damage to the passenger side.
“We want to find that individual and we’d like to talk to him to find out what happened that night,” Sergeant Flynn said.
A similar, though much more tragic incident occurred on I-95 back in 2010. State Trooper Marc Castellano was struck and killed by a passing vehicle while conducting an investigation.
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“All it takes is one split second for that 2000 or 3000-pound vehicle to strike somebody and kill them,” said Nick Castellano, the trooper’s brother.
Castellano’s family is featured in a video promoting New Jersey’s “Move Over Law” which is aimed at protecting first responders. The law was enacted a year before Castellano’s death.
According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, 136 officers have been struck and killed by vehicles across the country over the past decade.
If you have any information on the October 11 incident, please contact New Jersey State police at (609) 584-5015.