NORTH BERGEN — A township police officer died Saturday after crashing into a garbage truck on his way to work.

Officer Julio Luis Noriega was pronounced dead at Jersey City Medical Center, officials said hours after the crash that was reported at 7:03 a.m.

Police said Noriega was on his way to start a morning shift when his Honda crashed into the garbage truck near the intersection of 41st Street and Tonnelle Avenue. The crash sparked a fire.

Julio Luis Noriega, top right, and other officers get sworn into duty by Mayor Nick Sacco in 2019. (North Bergen Police Dept.)
Julio Luis Noriega, top right, and other officers get sworn into duty by Mayor Nick Sacco in 2019. (North Bergen Police Dept.)
loading...

Police said Noriega was unconscious when he was pulled from the wreck.

Get our free mobile app

The driver of the garbage truck was uninjured but a passenger was hospitalized with minor injuries.

Officials did not release other details about how the crash occured.

North Bergen Police Officer Julio Luis Noriega (North Bergen Police Dept.)
North Bergen Police Officer Julio Luis Noriega (North Bergen Police Dept.)
loading...

The department's social media announced Noriega's death on Saturday "with great sadness and heavy hearts."

"Please pray for Julio’s family and his dear friends during this difficult time," officials said.

Noriega was sworn in as an officer in January 2019 but he had worked for the department since 2015 as a communications officer.

In September 2020, he was named Officer of the Month for his "sense of awareness, use of proactive patrol techniques, and keen interview skills," which he used to catch a crook and return a stolen television to its owner. Police said Noriega got the suspect to confess.

Update: NJ arrests in Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot

A year later, more than 20 people from New Jersey have been charged with involvement in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

LOOK: Food history from the year you were born

From product innovations to major recalls, Stacker researched what happened in food history every year since 1921, according to news and government sources.
 

Check out the most expensive home for sale in Somerset County