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May 30, 2015

New Jersey State Police ID trooper killed after car strikes deer on I-195

Trooper Anthony Raspa Contributed Art/New Jersey State Police

New Jersey State Trooper Anthony Raspa, who died in a crash Saturday morning.

A 24-year-old New Jersey state trooper was killed early Saturday morning after his police car struck a deer on I-195.

The trooper has been identified as Anthony Raspa from Middlesex County. Raspa was serving on assignment at the department's Hamilton station. 

According to the New Jersey State Police, Raspa was traveling eastbound on the highway around 12:45 a.m. with another officer when their vehicle struck a deer, running off to the right side of the road into some trees.

Raspa was taken to CentraState Hospital in Freehold following the accident where he was pronounced dead by doctors. The other passenger, 29-year-old trooper Gene Hong, was taken to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital where he was treated for lacerations and a neck injury and is expected to be released soon. 

The department's last officer death in the line of duty was James Hoopes, who suffered a heart attack during a physical fitness training program in 2012. 

The profile picture for the department has been changed to The Thin Blue Line, a symbol used to signify a fallen officer. 

A statement from the Raspa family was posted on the department's Facebook page.

"Today our family lost an incredible son, brother, grandson, cousin, friend and person. Anthony was a phenomenal young man with a heart of gold and a passion for life. While he is no longer physically with us, we are so grateful for the 24 years of love and loyalty we shared with him. Anthony was passionate about law enforcement and took great pride in being a NJ State Trooper. He will forever be in our minds and in our hearts. The family is so appreciative of all of the love and support. We ask that you respect our privacy at this time as we continue to grieve."

No further information regarding the accident will be made available by police over the weekend, as the department's Fatal Accident Investigation Unit looks into the incident.