11:15AM EST: A NJ State Trooper has just been critically injured after being struck by a vehicle during a search for a suspect, YWN has learned.
Although details are still sketchy, sources tell YWN that numerous police agencies were searching for a male armed with a handgun on the Interstate 195 near the Howell Border at approximately 10:45AM. A NJSP Chopper and K9 Dogs were involved as well. What happened next is still unclear, but a Trooper was struck on the highway. Paramedics responded, and the NYSP Aviation Unit which was on the scene for the perp search, landed on the highway and transported the Trooper to the Jersey Shore Trauma Unit.
YWN is receiving reports that the officer was initially in traumatic arrest.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the trooper and family.
Travelers to Lakewood should avoid the 195, as Lakewood Chaverim reports that the highway is at least partially shut for an investigation.
UPDATE 2:00PM EST: The following information was released by the NJSP: New Jersey State Trooper was seriously injured earlier today on Interstate 195 West, on the Exit 31 ramp in Howell Township. The preliminary investigation indicates that the Trooper was injured while assisting with a search of a wooded area for two occupants of an abandoned vehicle that was the subject of an earlier B.O.L.O. (Be On Look Out). A 30 year-old female, Blackwood, NJ resident was found hiding in a nearby wooded area and taken into custody in connection with the incident. A search of the wooded area is being conducted for a second passenger of the vehicle. The second passenger of the vehicle is described as an African-American male, bald, wearing a white t-shirt and blue jeans. The Trooper was not injured by gunfire. The circumstances surrounding this incident and the Trooper’s injuries are still under investigation. There are no details being released on the Trooper’s identity or condition at this time.
UPDATE 6:00PM EST: NJ State Police Trooper Marc Castellano has died as a result of injuries sustained in a motor vehicle incident this morning on Interstate 195.
UPDATE 6:45PM EST: New Jersey State Police Superintendent Colonel Joseph R. Fuentes announced the passing of New Jersey State Trooper Marc K. Castellano, 29. Trooper Castellano succumbed to injuries at Jersey Shore Medical Center, Neptune New Jersey. The injuries were sustained while in the performance of his duties.
Trooper Castellano was struck by a motor vehicle while assisting in a search for the occupants of an abandoned car that was the subject of a BOLO (Be On Look Out). The vehicle was found abandoned on Interstate 195 westbound on the ramp at exit 31 in Howell Township. Arrested at the scene was the driver of the abandoned vehicle, 30 year-old Blackwood, New Jersey resident Diana Hoffman. Hoffman was placed under arrest and charges are pending. Hoffman’s vehicle is not the vehicle that struck Trooper Castellano. Authorities are also investigating the validity of Hoffman’s claim that an unidentified black male was a passenger in the vehicle. A search of the area for a suspect has been suspended.
Trooper Castellano served honorably with the New Jersey State Police for over five years, graduating as a member of the 136th New Jersey State Police Academy Training Class in September of 2004. Trooper Castellano was a member of the Troop “C” Tactical Patrol Unit. He was married with two children. State Police Superintendent Colonel Rick Fuentes was at the hospital with Trooper Castellano and his family.
“The loss of Trooper Castellano is a difficult blow to absorb,” said Colonel Fuentes. “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,” Fuentes said. “Trooper Castellano was the embodiment of the finest ideals of the New Jersey State Police.” “The entire State Police Family extends its’ very deepest condolences to the family of Trooper Mark Castellano.”
The investigation into this incident is ongoing. There will be no further information released today.
(Yehuda Drudgestein – YWN)
My sincerest condolences to the young family of Honorable Trooper Castellano who gave up his life in the line of duty.
May you have the strength to carry on.
I heard from police sources that the trooper was seraching for the suspects and was walking on a road that was blocked off…
someone decided to ignore the road blocks and went there anyway, that person hit the trooper with his car…
he died at 10 am