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State Trooper Dies from Injuries Suffered in NJ Crash

State Trooper Dies from Injuries Suffered in NJ Crash

Police on the scene of a motor vehicle crash that killed a New Jersey State Police trooper on Rt. 195 at exit 31.

The Star-Leger via YellowBrix

June 07, 2010

HOWELL TOWNSHIP — A New Jersey state trooper described as “the embodiment of the finest ideals” of the force, died today after being struck by a car in Monmouth County as he searched for the occupants of an abandoned car.

Marc K. Castellano, 29, who has been with the force since 2004, was struck at 10 a.m. in a westbound lane of Interstate 195, near Exit 31 in Howell. The married father of two was taken to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, where he died several hours later.

State Police Capt. Gerald Lewis said the driver of the abandoned car, Diana Hoffman, 30, of Blackwood, Camden County, was found hiding in a nearby wooded area shortly after Castellano was struck and was taken into custody. Charges against her are pending.

State Police initially launched a massive hours-long search for a second passenger of the vehicle after Hoffman said a man was in the car with her. Tonight, however, authorities were investigating the validity of Hoffman’s claim and suspended the search for that man.

Hoffman was not the driver of the car that struck Castellano. Lewis offered few details about the vehicle or its driver, other than to say the driver remained at the scene after the accident and has not been charged. The driver of the car that struck Castellano was not believed to have any connection to the abandoned vehicle, Lewis said.

Castellano, who lived in Howell, was a 1998 graduate of Jackson Memorial High School. A member of the Troop C Tactical Patrol Unit, he graduated as a member of the 136th New Jersey State Police Academy Training Class in September 2004. He is the first New Jersey State Trooper to be killed in the line duty since 2004 when Trooper Bertram Zimmerman was struck by a car.

“The loss of Trooper Castellano is a difficult blow to absorb,” State Police Superintendent Rick Fuentes said. "The New Jersey State Police prides itself on being a family and the loss of our brother will be felt throughout the entire Division of State Police.

“Trooper Castellano was the embodiment of the finest ideals of the New Jersey State Police,” Fuentes said.

Gov. Chris Christie and Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno visited the trooper’s family at the hospital. During an appearance in Mahwah earlier today, Christie urged people to pray for Castellano.

The search for the purported second passenger was carried out by dozens of troopers, local police and other law enforcement officials and K-9 units.

The command post for the search forced the closure of Route 547 where it crosses with Route 195, creating massive traffic delays for much of the day. Police and rescue workers used the parking area of a car dealership off Route 195 as a base-camp to set up tents and cooling stations. The Red Cross was providing food and water to those involved in the search. Four law enforcement officials were taken to Jersey Shore University Medical Center for treatment of heat exhaustion.

Howell Township Mayor Robert Walsh spent the afternoon with Castellano’s family at the hospital and called today a “tragic day.”

“It’s a tragedy that could have and should have been avoided,” Walsh said. “Now a family has to live with this their whole lives and a valuable young life has been lost – and it didn’t need to be.”

Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic) said she was “deeply saddened” to hear of Castellano’s death.

“His dedication to protecting our safety will never be forgotten,” Oliver said. “His loss is a yet another reminder of the constant danger our law enforcement officers bravely put themselves in front of each and every day. We must always be grateful for that service.”

Statehouse bureau reporter Chris Megerian contributed to this report.


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  • Sfa_iv_max50

    revCCBeasley

    over 3 years ago

    2944 Comments

    RIP

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Sheepdog1

    almost 4 years ago

    480 Comments

    RIP brother

  • 375956_401447159923274_1109023972_n_max50

    Eilene

    almost 4 years ago

    18372 Comments

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Trooper Marc K. Castellano and his brothers and sisters in Law Enforcement. May he rest in peace.

    "In The Line of Duty"

    What is the meaning of "In The Line Of Duty"
    It means that an officer made the Ultimate sacrifice.
    It means that someone took an officer's life.
    A hero has fallen.

    Officers who gave their all
    To protect and serve
    Have been killed by someone whom they swore
    To protect and serve.

    It means that their badge will no longer be on their chest
    And they will join
    "The Best Of The Best"

    It means that family and friends are left behind
    To deal with the lost of a loved one.
    Only having the memories of that loved one
    Close to their hearts.
    Something no one can ever take away.

    It means that family members will stand at the officers grave
    And wonder why ...
    Why would someone take an officer's life
    And leave them there to die?
    If we only knew.

    Today an officer will place their badge on their chest
    To fulfill the dreams of heroes killed
    "In The Line Of Duty"

    by

    Michele

    In Memory Of All Police Officers Who Have
    Been Called To Make The Ultimate Sacrifice

    St. Michael Archangel Pictures, Images and Photos

  • Car6_max50

    Ahi

    almost 4 years ago

    1990 Comments

    R.I.P., prayers to family and friends!

  • Mourning_badge_max50

    Straightshooter

    almost 4 years ago

    1708 Comments

    Rest in Peace Trooper Castellano. My Prayers for your family, friends and coworkers.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    milcop

    almost 4 years ago

    762 Comments

    RIP my Brother. Prayers to your family and friends

  • Enoughisenough_max50

    jortives1969

    almost 4 years ago

    1686 Comments

    R.I.P

  • Shrel-only_max50

    ERIC4536

    almost 4 years ago

    534 Comments

    Prayers to the family & friends. Rest in Peace.

  • Fallen_officers_candlelight_vigil_max50

    mdsp225

    almost 4 years ago

    82 Comments

    Our prayers are with both of his families.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    snoopyg

    almost 4 years ago

    12 Comments

    Well, I am all for charging the person that hit Trooper Castellano with vehicular homicide, assault on a police officer, and anything else relative to this horrible accident. We had a case similar to this one in Arkansas about two years ago and those were some of the charges applied to the suspect.

    I feel so strongly about assaulting a police officer in any situation since it happens all too frequently nowadays.

    Take care Castellano Family and brothers with the Police force. God bless you all!

    Donna Green - West Memphis, AR.

  • Geiger_max50

    David4946

    almost 4 years ago

    1326 Comments

    Rest In Peace Brother

  • N1023300020_30025442_7610_max50

    KAICHARESE

    almost 4 years ago

    2780 Comments

    RIP

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    badge66

    almost 4 years ago

    144 Comments

    My condolences to Trooper Castellano's family. Rest in peace brother.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    MP247

    almost 4 years ago

    332 Comments

    Rest in Peace Trooper Castellano.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    dhw

    almost 4 years ago

    604 Comments

    God bless family, friends, fellow officers.
    Chief D. Whiteley, P.B. Mo.

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