New Jersey

Officer Accidentally Strikes, Kills Pedestrian in Crash: Police

Officials are investigating an incident in which a police officer accidentally struck and killed a pedestrian with his police cruiser.

The Lacey Township Police officer was responding to a call and traveling in the area of Lacey Road and Deerhead Lake Road in Lacey Township, New Jersey around 3:25 a.m. Sunday. 

As he was driving, 25-year-old Neil Vandeputt of Toms River, New Jersey was crossing against the traffic signal from the south side of Lacey at the Deerhead Lake Road intersection, investigators said. The officer tried to avoid hitting Vandeputt but ended up striking him with the front passenger side of the patrol vehicle, according to police.  

The patrol vehicle then struck a utility pole before coming to a stop in a bank parking lot near the roadway. Vandeputt was pronounced dead at the scene at 3:47 a.m. The officer was taken to Community Medical Center where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries. 

Police continue to investigate the crash. 

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