North Bergen, NJ police officer killed in fiery crash with garbage truck
NORTH BERGEN — A township police officer died Saturday after crashing into a garbage truck on his way to work.
Officer Julio Luis Noriega was pronounced dead at Jersey City Medical Center, officials said hours after the crash that was reported at 7:03 a.m.
Police said Noriega was on his way to start a morning shift when his Honda crashed into the garbage truck near the intersection of 41st Street and Tonnelle Avenue. The crash sparked a fire.
Police said Noriega was unconscious when he was pulled from the wreck.
The driver of the garbage truck was uninjured but a passenger was hospitalized with minor injuries.
Officials did not release other details about how the crash occured.
The department's social media announced Noriega's death on Saturday "with great sadness and heavy hearts."
"Please pray for Julio’s family and his dear friends during this difficult time," officials said.
Noriega was sworn in as an officer in January 2019 but he had worked for the department since 2015 as a communications officer.
In September 2020, he was named Officer of the Month for his "sense of awareness, use of proactive patrol techniques, and keen interview skills," which he used to catch a crook and return a stolen television to its owner. Police said Noriega got the suspect to confess.
Sergio Bichao is digital managing editor of New Jersey 101.5. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org