For 33 years, flowers have grown by the side of the New Jersey Turnpike in South Brunswick. They live on in memory of a State Trooper who perished.

Trooper William L. Carroll Jr., at just 29 years old, died when he was struck by a passing tractor-trailer on the highway, according to New Jersey state Police.

He'd been responding to another tractor-trailer that had stopped along the road in South Brunswick, State Police said. After speaking with the driver, he was returning to his patrol car when he was struck, suffering multiple extensive injuries and traumatic shock. He was taken to Middlesex General Hospital where he died later that evening.

"Many of you may have driven by this floral arrangement on the side of the road on the NJ Turnpike in South Brunswick and not have given it a second thought," State Police wrote in an announcement of the anniversary of Carroll's death.

They urged:

"The next time you pass by this memorial or any of the memorials that line the highways of this state, think of our troopers and first responders and remember that each memorial represents a trooper that made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of the State of New Jersey."

Carroll was born on June 25, 1955, in New Brunswick, and resided there all of his life, State Police said. He attended St. Peter’s High School, where he was active in sports.

Before enlisting in the New Jersey State Police in 1979, he worked as a stone mason.

Caroll had been a member of the State Police's 94th Class, serving at stations in Troops B, C and D over his five years and five months with the force.

He was survived by his parents and his wife.

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