08/25/2008

Family, friends mourn N.J. officer

Officer Down: Officer Thomas Raji

The Star-Ledger

PERTH AMBOY, N.J. — Hundreds of law enforcement officers, family members and other well wishers are expected to attend funeral services this morning for Perth Amboy police Officer Thomas Raji, 31, who was killed in a car wreck in Woodbridge last week.

A memorial service will be held at 8:45 a.m., followed by 10 a.m. funeral Mass at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, 580 Hazel Avenue. Raji will be interred at Alpine Cemetery, 703 Amboy Avenue, in Perth Amboy.

Viewings were held Sunday at Gustav J. Novak Funeral Home in Perth Amboy.

Raji and a second officer were transporting the prisoner to Middlesex County jail in North Brunswick at about 3:45 a.m. when they were broadsided by a westbound Nissan Altiman crossing on Route 1 in Woodbridge.

Raji, who was at the wheel, was pronounced dead at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick.

His partner, Matthew Mercurio, 42, suffered broken ribs and remains at the same hospital.

The prisoner, a 37-year-old man, suffered minor injuries in the crash, Kaplan said. The Altima's driver, 23-year-old Sean McGuirk of the Colonia section of Woodbridge, was not hurt, authorities said.

Investigators are trying to determine who had the right of way at the intersection, which is controlled by a traffic light.

Copyright 2008 The Star-Ledger

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