Off-duty NJ police officer killed in crash

An off-duty police officer in New Jersey was killed in a crash on Route 1 in Linden early Monday morning.

The crash occurred in the northbound lanes at about 2:15 a.m. when the car Officer Giovanni Esposito was driving hit a tractor-trailer.  The vehicle overturned and the officer and another person were thrown from the vehicle.

The occupant suffered serious injuries. Both were taken to University Hospital.  The truck driver wasn't injured. He was cooperating with authorities.

The accident closed Route 1 for several hours. 

Officer Esposito was hired last November. Hillside Police Chief Vincent Ricciardi said in a statement that Esposito graduated at the top of his class from the Essex County Police Academy.

"Esposito loved his job and was a warm and friendly person who was well-liked by all who knew him. He prided himself on serving the community of Hillside with diligence and compassion. His death is a profound loss to our department and we will miss him terribly. We wish his family solace and comfort during this extremely difficult time."

With the Associated Press