10/17/2011

NJ cop killed by drunk driver

Joseph Wargo was on duty when the driver slammed into the cruiser

By PoliceOne Staff

MOUNT ARLINGTON, N.J. —  A Mount Arlington Police Officer was killed early Sunday after being struck by a drunk driver, authorities said.

Officer Joseph Wargo, 38, was on duty — just hours after reportedly stopping for dinner at a pizza restaurant — when 29-year-old Michael Casella of Howell, New Jersey, crossed the median and slammed into the cruiser.

The vehicle was found in a wooded area near the highway with extensive front-end damage, according to NBC New York. Wargo was transported by helicopter to Morristown Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Cassella was charged with driving while under the influence, officials said. Bail has been set at $500,000, and the accident remains under investigation.

"Joe was a fun-loving guy with a heart of gold," Keith Licata, Mount Arlington’s acting police chief, told the New Jersey Star-Ledger. "He would help anybody, and he was a very dedicated police officer."

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