06/07/2010 // West Palm Beach, FL, USA // Tara Monks // Tara Monks
Howell Township, NJ – A New Jersey State Trooper was struck and killed by a vehicle on Route 195 in Monmouth County on the morning of Sunday, June 06, 2010, as reported by the Philadelphia Enquirer. The officer was investigating an abandoned vehicle at the time of the incident.
Trooper Marc K. Castellano, 29, of Howell, had exited his vehicle on the side of the road when he was struck by a passing vehicle. Police did not specify whether the driver of the vehicle was apprehended. Capt. Gerald Lewis only stated, “The investigation into this incident is ongoing.”
Witnesses reported that attempts to revive the officer were made, but to no avail.
Police found the driver of the abandoned vehicle Castellano was investigating hiding in a wooded area near the road. She was identified as Diana Hoffman, 30, of Blackwood.
Hoffman told police that an unidentified male was with her in the car, but some officers came to doubt the validity of her claims after a day-long search found nothing.
A manhunt for the driver of the hit-and-run vehicle lasted approximately eight hours, detouring drivers away from the scene of the crime.
Castellano is survived by his wife and two children, aged four and one. Members of the family could not be reached for comment.
State Police Superintendent Colonel Joseph R. Fuentes gave his condolences, saying, “The loss of Trooper Castellano is a difficult blow to absorb…He was the embodiment of the finest ideals of the New Jersey State Police.”
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