He never fully recovered from his injuries despite undergoing several surgeries. Officer Hansen was a two-year veteran of the agency.
In a statement, the Toms River Police Department said:
"It is with profound sadness and deep regret, that the Toms River Police Department announces the passing of Patrolman Brett Hansen badge # 412, at the age of 28. He passed unexpectedly after a brave and valiant battle recovering from extensive injuries sustained in an off-duty motor vehicle accident in January.
Tragically, Brett was involved in collision on the Garden State NJ Parkway on 01-04-17. Brett’s injuries were so severe that it took teams of surgeons and dedicated medical staff to initially save his life. It was a true miracle Brett survived that tragic night. His family sat by his bedside night and day, as did his brothers and sisters in Blue.
Brett joined the Toms River Police Department in August of 2015. He began his law enforcement career with the Camden County Police Department in March of 2013 after his graduation from the Ocean County Police Academy in May 2012.
Brett was raised by his parents James and Laurie, along with his younger brother Tyler in Brick, NJ. He and his family are among the most humble and respectful people we’ve ever known. Brett was known to drop whatever he was doing to help others with whatever they needed.
He was described as a “true blessing to his family and the neighborhood.” This was clear to anyone who had met Brett and to his coworkers. Above all, it was his dedication and unwavering love to his family that was truly inspiring. Much of Brett’s off duty time was spent with them and his extended family.
Just days before his crash a man snapped this quick picture of his daughter and Officer Hansen. He went to Al’s Pizza with his 6 year old daughter for lunch, upon entering; they noticed an officer sitting alone.
The little girl walked up to Brett to say hello and they chatted for about ten minutes, all along smiling and enjoying the conversation. This is the kind of police officer and man Brett was, the kind we all strive to be. He will be dearly missed by all."
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Toms River Police Officer Brett Hansen, both blood and blue. Godspeed, sir, we will take the watch from here. Thank you for your service.