North Bergen is mourning the loss of a local police officer, Julio Luis Noriega, who died on Jan. 8 after being involved in a fatal motor vehicle accident with a garbage truck.
Noriega was killed in the crash at Tonnelle Avenue and 41st Street on his way to work, according to the North Bergen Police Department.
“It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we announce the death of Officer Julio Luis Noriega, Badge #170, who succumbed to his injuries earlier this morning as a result of a serious motor vehicle accident,” the department posted on social media. “Please pray for Julio’s family and his dear friends during this difficult time.”
Noriega was knocked unconscious after the crash occurred around 7:03 a.m. The garbage truck driver, an off-duty EMT, and another person pulled him from the burning vehicle. Noriega was administered CPR and rushed to Jersey City Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead of his injuries.
The driver of the garbage truck was not injured, but a passenger of that vehicle was injured and taken to an area hospital.
Mayor Nicholas Sacco offered his condolences to the family in a statement.
“It is with a very heavy heart that we must announce the tragic death of North Bergen Police Officer Julio Luis Noriega, who was killed in a motor vehicle accident while on his way to work earlier today,” Sacco said. “Officer Noriega served our community with distinction as a member of the NBPD for the past two years, including being honored as officer of the month in September 2020 for his excellent work solving a robbery, and he and several members of his family have been deeply involved in our community for many years.
“On behalf of Public Safety Commissioner Allen Pascual, Chief Peter Fasillis and the entire department, I ask North Bergen residents to join us in praying for Officer Noriega’s family, friends and colleagues during this incredibly difficult time.”
Noriega joined the force in 2019 after having worked as a dispatcher since 2015. In a social media post, Gov. Phil Murphy also mourned his death.
“Tammy and I are saddened by the passing of North Bergen Police Officer Julio Noriega, who served his community with honor and distinction,” Murphy said. “We are praying for his family, friends, and fellow officers.”
A fundraiser to pay for funeral expenses has been set up online at FundtheFirst.com. As of Jan. 11, it had already raised $34,142 of the $50,000 goal.
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