They gave their lives upholding our tradition of Honor, Duty, Fidelity.
Badge: # 2579
Cause: Auto/Train Accident
Site: Ramah Rd. Fairfield Twp. Cumberland Co.
Stationed: Troop "A" Port Norris
Service Time: 6 months
Resided: Margate, Atlantic Co.
Russell J. Moesta was born on January 7, 1945 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He resided in Margate, Atlantic County, New Jersey. Prior to joining the New Jersey State Police, he was employed by the P.J. Mooney Florist in Ventnor, New Jersey. He served in the United States Marine Corps from 1963 to 1967.
Trooper Moesta enlisted with the New Jersey State Police on May 15, 1970 as a member of the 81st State Police Class. He was assigned to Troop "A" Port Norris. 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 Moesta died as a result of injuries received in a Troop car accident in the line of duty.
At 10:40 a.m. on November 19, 1970, Trooper Moesta was investigating a recent hold-up and robbery. He was enroute to Ramah Road to interview suspects. In Fairton, Trooper Moesta turned onto Ramah Road and crossed-over railroad tracks. A large, leafy bush had obstructed his view of the tracks.
As Trooper Moesta crossed the tracks, a train consisting of three locomotives and 78 empty box cars and sand hoppers was travelling south towards the crossing. The engineer blew his whistle and rang his bell 800 or 900 feet prior to the crossing. Upon observing the approaching Troop car, he sounded several short blasts to warn him. He also applied the emergency brake and used sand, but it was too late.
The Troop car left 156 feet of heavy skid marks before the impact and was struck apparently initially at the rear of the left fender and roof above the left front door. The Troop car was dragged 79 feet further south. The accident scene had no gate nor flashing warning device and a row of bushes obstructed the view of southbound trains to traffic.
Trooper Moesta was taken to Bridgeton Hospital and was pronounced dead on arrival.
Trooper Moesta served 6 months with the New Jersey State Police.
Trooper Moesta was survived by his wife and two sons ages 5 and 1 year. He was 25 years old.