2015 News Release

May 07, 2015

Office of Public Affairs (609) 882-2000
Capt. Stephen Jones - ext. 6513
Lt. Brian Polite - ext. 6514
SFC Gregory Williams - ext. 6515
Sgt. Jeff Flynn - ext. 6516

State Police Investigates Double Fatal Turnpike Crash

North Bergen, N.J. - The New Jersey State Police Fatal Accident Unit, Crime Scene Investigation Unit, and personnel from Newark Station, are investigating a crash involving a Washington Township, Bergen County, police car that struck two pedestrians on the New Jersey Turnpike earlier today at approximately 1:06 a.m.

The preliminary investigation revealed that Jason Champion, 41, of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Nuwnah Laroche, 34, of East Elmhurst, were traveling in a 2001 Cadillac Escalade when it became disabled on the southbound side of the roadway. Sometime later, both individuals were pedestrians in left, northbound lane in the area of milepost 115, when they were struck by a Washington Township Police car driven by 46-year-old Officer Arsenio Pecora.

According to the Washington Township Police Department, Officer Pecora was returning from training at Fort Dix at the time of the accident. The victims were pronounced deceased on scene at 4:33 a.m. via telemetry. The cause and circumstances of the crash are currently under investigation.

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