Remembering the fallen: Stories of 2 troopers who gave everything
First off, an apology:
In late December, New Jersey 101.5 began a tradition of honoring the memories of New Jersey State Troopers who'd died in the line of duty. The plan was once a month, we'd look back on the lives and sacrifices of troopers who'd died in the same month in previous years.
Well, things got a little away from us in January, and we didn't get up that month's post before the month was over. It wasn't our intention to let it slide, and we'll aim to do better going forward.
Before you read on to the stories of troopers who gave their all, we'd also like to invite you to help New Jersey 101.5 celebrate #BlueFriday — host Bill Spadea's effort to recognize any law enforcement officer who went above and beyond the line of duty. Maybe the officer was a hero to dozens of people in a daring rescue. Maybe he or she was hero just to you, with a simple act of kindness.
Tweet to @NJ1015 and @BillSpadea with the hashtag #bluefriday, or message us on Facebook, and share his or her story. We may highlight the officer's heroism in a coming week.
And now, we remember the fallen. These stories are as shared by the New Jersey State Police, with minor editing.
Jan. 24: Trooper Walter B. Otte
Walter Otte was born in Union City on June 7, 1908. He graduated from Emerson High School in Union City and attended Hobart College of Geneva, New York for two years. Before joining the New Jersey State Police, he was employed as a trade broker on Wall Street in New York City. He resided in Secaucus.
Otte enlisted with the New Jersey State Police on Aug. 15, 1938 as a member of the 27th State Police class. His service with the department was characterized by loyalty, fearless performance of duty and faithful and energetic devotion to the principles of the New Jersey State Police.
Otte died as a result of injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident while in the performance of his duty.
At approximately 11:40 or 11:45 a.m. on Jan. 24, 1940, Trooper Otte was on motorcycle patrol on Great Meadows-Hope Road at Jenny Jump Mountain, in Hope Township. The accident occurred while he was travelling on a downgrade and curve in the direction of the town of Hope. The cycle struck the abutment of a drainage ditch along the side of the road. The rear part of the motorcycle landed on the slope of the hill and the front wheel remained in the ditch at the abutment.
Otte was thrown approximately 6 feet from the abutment. He was found lying near his cycle, unconscious.
Otte was taken to Newton Hospital and he was admitted at 1:15 p.m. He was found to be suffering from a severe fracture at the base of his skull. Otte never regained consciousness and he died at 2:25 p.m.
Otte served 1 year and 5 months with the New Jersey State Police.
Otte was survived by his wife. He was 32 years old.
Jan. 27: Trooper Edward R. Errickson
Edward R. Errickson was born on July 31, 1937 in Millville. Prior to joining the New Jersey State Police, he served three years in the United States Air Force.
Errickson joined the Highway Patrol Bureau on June 11, 1965 as a member of the 11th Motor Vehicle class. He was transferred into the New Jersey State Police on Jan. 21, 1984. His service with the New Jersey State Police was characterized by loyalty, fearless performance of duty and faithful and energetic devotion to the high principals of the New Jersey State Police.
Errickson died of injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident while in the performance of his duties.
On Jan. 10, 1984, while traveling south on Route 47 in Maurice River Township, Cumberland County, his unmarked troop car skidded sideways on an icy road into oncoming traffic. He was struck on the left side by a vehicle traveling north. He was taken to Millville Hospital where he died from his injuries on Jan. 25, 1984.
Errickson served 4 days with the New Jersey State Police.
Errickson was survived by his wife and three children; two daughters ages 21 and 14 and a son age 18. Trooper Errickson was 46 years old.