North Bergen Police Officer Julio Noriega died early this morning after crashing into a garbage truck while driving into work.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“At 7:03 am our department received a call for a serious motor vehicle accident at 41st Street and Tonnelle Avenue. A Honda struck a garbage truck which caused this vehicle to catch on fire. The driver of the Honda, Julio Noriega, was unconscious and was pulled from his vehicle,” the North Bergen Police Department posted on social media about an hour ago.
“He was then transported to the Jersey City Medical Center for life threatening injuries. The driver of the garbage truck was not injured however the passenger sustained minor injuries and was also transported to the hospital. Julio Noriega is a North Bergen Police Officer and was going to work when he was involved in this accident. Please keep Julio in your thoughts and prayers. Updates to follow.”
Sources with knowledge of the situation, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, confirmed that Noriega has since succumbed to his injuries.
The North Bergen PD confirmed his passing on social media just before noon.
He was sworn in nearly three years ago to the day as part of a five-person class and was named Officer of the Month back in September 2020 for recovering a stolen TV, getting a confession from the thief, and arresting him.
“P.O. Noriega’s sense of awareness, use of proactive patrol techniques, and keen interview skills led to the recovery of the stolen TV, confession from the actor, and arrest of the actor. Great work Officer Noriega,” the North Bergen PD wrote on Instagram at the time.
State Senator (D-32)/North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco also acknowledged Noriega’s passing and offered condolences for his family, friends, and colleagues.
” … Officer Noriega served our community with distinction as a member of the NBPD for the past two years, including being honored as officer of the month in September 2020 for his excellent work solving a robbery, and he and several members of his family have been deeply involved in our community for many years,” he said in a statement.
“On behalf of Public Safety Commissioner Allen Pascual, Chief Peter Fasillis and the entire department, I ask North Bergen residents to join us in praying for Officer Noriega’s family, friends and colleagues during this incredibly difficult time.”
Editor’s note: This story was updated with a comment from state Senator (D-32)/North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco.