They gave their lives upholding our tradition of Honor, Duty, Fidelity.
Badge: # 2353
Cause: Auto Accident
Site: I-295 MP # 19.3 NB West Deptford Twp., Gloucester Co.
Stationed: Troop "A" Mantua
Service Time: 1 year 1 month
Resided: Bridgeton, Cumberland Co.
Robert J. Prato was born on December 6, 1944 in Bridgeton, Cumberland County, New Jersey. Prior to enlisting with the New Jersey State Police, he served with the United States Air Force from 1963 to 1967. He also worked at the Kimble Glass Plant in Vineland, New Jersey.
Trooper Prato enlisted with the New Jersey State Police on October 18, 1968 as a member of the 76th State Police Class. He was assigned to Troop "A" Berlin and was later transferred to Cape May Court House and Mantua. His service with the Division was characterized by loyalty, fearless performance of duty and faithful and energetic devotion to the principles of the New Jersey State Police.
Trooper Prato died as a result of injuries received in a Troop car accident in the line of duty.
At 8:19 p.m. on December 2, 1969, Trooper Prato was on routine patrol in West Deptford Township, Gloucester County. He was travelling north on I-295 on the inside lane. A 1963 Chevrolet convertible was heading south in the northbound lane. The driver was under the influence of alcohol with a blood alcohol level of .24. At milepost 19.3, the two cars collided in a head-on collision. Trooper Prato was taken to Underwood Memorial Hospital in Woodbury, New Jersey. He was pronounced dead on arrival.
Trooper Prato served 1 year and 1 month with the New Jersey State Police.
Trooper Prato was survived by his wife and two sons ages 4 and 2 years.
Trooper Prato was 24 years old.