Friend says driver in crash that killed trooper never drank — 911 calls released
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MILLVILLE — Friends of the New Jersey driver whose car collided with a New Jersey state trooper's, killing the officer, suspect a medical episode may have been to blame.
Authorities say Lloyd Rudley was driving erratically along Route 55 Monday night, and as rookie Trooper Frankie Williams responded to the scene to investigate, Rudley's vehicle veered across the median and into Williams' path.
In a 911 recording obtained by NBC 10 Philadelphia Wednesday, a caller can be heard telling dispatchers a car was "swerving right in front of me." Another caller said a "little red car" was driving about 20 mph after "making contact" with a tractor trailer. Several calls thought the driver was drunk, according to the report.
But a lifelong friend of Lloyd Rudley of Elmer told CBS Philly the 61-year-old had a history of diabetic shock episodes, and that one time he was found passed out on his kitchen floor.
“He never touched liquor in his life or any kind of drugs except his insulin,” Kristi Schaller said, according to the report.
Schaller said Rudley was like a member of her family, as he had no other living relatives. According to the Vineland High School Class of 1973 Facebook page, he was the class Valedictorian.
State Police have not yet released a cause of the Monday night crash that took the 31-year-old trooper's life.
The State Troopers Fraternal Association Foundation is accepting donations for Williams' wife Kimberly via its PayPal account. Donors can click the special instructions link and write "donation to the Trooper Frankie Williams Family."
"The division lost an exemplary young trooper with the promise of a great career. A family lost an only child, a wife lost a husband, and New Jersey lost a leader and a role model," State Police Colonel Rick Fuentes said in a statement.
Williams was a member of the 156th state police class, which graduated Jan 29. He was assigned to the Port Norris Station and had been married in October. He lived in Atlantic County.
A candlelight vigil takes place at the Leesburg fire station on Thursday night in Williams' honor according to SNJToday.
Funeral arrangements for both men have not been finalized.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.
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