Bernards, NJ - Summit Police Officer Matthew Tarentino, age 29, was killed in a vehicle crash on his way to work Tuesday morning, May 30.
According to NJ.com, the incident occurred about 6:20 AM on I-78 at milepost 33. Officer Tarentino was driving eastbound when a car 'veered across the grassy median into oncoming traffic' and collided with two other vehicles.
In a statement, Summit police said "With great sadness, the City of Summit Police Department announces the death of police Officer Matthew Tarentino at 6:20 AM."
Officer Tarentino was the department's D.A.R.E. Officer, and was supposed to participate in a graduation ceremony for Summit's fifth grade students on Tuesday, May 30. The ceremony has been postponed. Mayor Nora Radest said, "He would have been the centerpiece of the graduation."
Mayor Radest said that Officer Tarentino was married, had two children, and that he and his wife were expecting a third child.
The drivers in the two other vehicles were injured and were transported to a Morristown Medical Center for treatment. Their names have not been released.
Mayor Radest said "His devotion to his job and the community was unmatched. This is a tremendous loss for the city."
The cause of the vehicle going over the median is still under investigation. No further details about the cause have been released at this time.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Summit Police Officer Matthew Tarentino, both blood and blue. Godspeed, sir, we will take the watch from here. Thank you for your service.
Officer Tarentino, your life mattered.