New Jersey State Trooper Marc Castellano was killed today after being hit by a car in a westbound lane of Interstate 195 in Howell around 10 a.m. At the time, he was assisting in the search for two people who had reportedly abandoned a vehicle.
The driver of the abandoned auto, 30-year-old Diana Hoffman of Blackwood, was later found hiding nearby in the woods and was taken into custody. Hoffman told police that a man was riding with her, and dozens of troopers, local police, and other law enforcement personnel spent hours searching for him using helicopters and several K-9 units. However, as of tonight, State Police said they were questioning the truthfulness of her statements, and charges against her were now pending.
According to State Police, Hoffman’s vehicle was not the same one that struck Castellano, though they would not provide any information about that car or the precise circumstances of the incident.
Trooper Castellano, 29, was a married father of two young children. He had been a trooper for five years.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie had visited the hospital earlier today where Castellano had been rushed and met with Castellano’s family, as did State Police Superintendent Rick Fuentes.