JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — More than 1,000 police officers saluted at the flag-draped coffin of a Jersey City police lieutenant who was struck and killed on the New Jersey Turnpike after a traffic accident last week.

Newark archbishop Cardinal Joseph Tobin celebrated Mass for 49-year-old Lt. Christopher Robateau during his funeral Thursday at St. Aeden’s Church in Jersey City.

Robateau was in uniform and on his way to work Friday when he was involved in a minor accident with a large DHL truck while heading northbound near Exit 14. He got out of his vehicle to assist the truck driver but was struck by a pickup truck before he reached the other driver.

Robateau was a 23-year veteran of the force with a passion for policing, earning more than 40 meritorious service awards along with commendations for bravery. Jersey Police Chief Mike Kelly called him “one of the most decorated police officers that we have.”

“We have over 900 police officers in Jersey City. He may be our best,” Kelly said. “That’s how good that this man was.”

Robateau is survived by a wife and three children, ages 25, 16 and 15.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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