North Bergen, NJ – North Bergen Police Department (NBPD) Officer Julio Luis Noriega died on Jan. 8 after crashing his vehicle while on his way to work, according to his department.
The 28-year-old officer was driving his Honda Accord northbound on Tonnelle Avenue near 41st Street shortly after 7 a.m. when he crashed into the back of a garbage truck, NBPD Captain David Dowd told the Bergen Record.
Officer Noriega’s car exploded into flames, police said.
The unconscious officer was pulled from the wreckage by a Good Samaritan, the garbage truck driver, and an off-duty emergency medical technician, the Bergen Record reported.
He was no longer breathing, so emergency medical personnel administered CPR and rushed him to Jersey City Medical Center, Capt. Dowd said.
Officer Noriega did not survive his injuries and was pronounced dead at the hospital.
The exact cause of the fatal collision remains under investigation, the Bergen Record reported.
“This looks like a tragic accident,” Capt. Dowd said. “Like he was trying to go to work and just crashed his car.”
The NBPD announced Officer Noriega’s death in a Facebook post later that morning.
“It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we announce the death of Officer Julio Luis Noriega #170 who succumbed to his injuries earlier this morning as a result of a serious motor vehicle accident,” the post read. “Please pray for Julio’s family and his dear friends during this difficult time.”
Officer Noriega joined the NBPD as a dispatcher in 2015, according to the Bergen Record.
He began serving as a police officer in January of 2019 and was named officer of the month in September of 2020, North Bergen Mayor Nicholas Sacco told NJ.com.
“He was well-liked — just a good, kind-hearted person,” Capt. Dowd told the Bergen Record. “We have an incredibly dangerous job, and we know the risks. But none of us expect to have something like this happen before you go into work… he’s going to be missed.”
A fundraising campaign established to help Officer Noriega’s family in the wake of their los has raised over $40,000 so far.
Officer Noriega was laid to rest Jan. 14, according to his obituary.
It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we announce the death of Officer Julio Luis Noriega #170 who succumbed to his injuries earlier this morning as a result of a serious motor vehicle accident. Please pray for Julio’s family and his dear friends during this difficult pic.twitter.com/VBXT7SIKpC
— North Bergen Police (@nbpolice) January 8, 2022
Our thoughts and prayers are with the North Bergen Police Department and the family and friends of Officer Julio Noriega, who died in a crash while driving to work this weekend. #EOW pic.twitter.com/KMoAxDwDxG
— ProsecutorSuarezHCPO (@HCPOProsecutor) January 10, 2022
On this year’s National Law Enforcement Appreciation day, https://t.co/EmKbXozjBB would like to send our condolences to the North Bergen Police Department on the loss of Police Officer Julio Noriega. May he rest in peace.. pic.twitter.com/WQcaLGDaS5
— Fund the First (@FundtheFirst) January 9, 2022
We mourn with our brothers and sisters at North Bergen Police Department on the loss of Police Officer Julio Noriega.
— Bergenfield PD (@BergenfieldNJPD) January 9, 2022
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of North Bergen Police Department Officer Julio Luis Noriega, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.