Councilman Mendez: Officer Tamby Yagan 'Was A Very Respectful Police Officer'

PATERSON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A Paterson police officer is dead after crashing his patrol car into a car parked on the street. His heartbroken colleagues are trying to figure out what happened.

Mangled in the middle of the street with shattered glass and dangling pieces, there wasn’t much left of Officer Tamby Yagan’s patrol car on Sunday morning.

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“Today’s a very sad day for our city because we lost a very well-involved police officer,” Councilman Alex Mendez told CBS2’s Reena Roy.

Investigators said the officer, who worked in the police department’s traffic division, somehow slammed into a parked car while on the job, driving down Getty Avenue near Hemlock Street just before 11 a.m.

Authorities said Yagan was rushed to Saint Joseph’s Regional Medical Center where he later succumbed to his injuries.

No other injuries were reported in the crash, which remains under investigation.

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Those who knew Yagan told CBS2’s Roy he was a dedicated officer on the force for 13 years and was well known and loved in the community. He was also a family man, with a young son.

“Friendly, always smiling … he was an individual to shake hands with,” Councilman Luis Veldez said.

“He was a very respectful police officer, so we just want to support the family as much as we can,” Mendez added.

The city’s police union tweeted out a photo of Yagan, writing: “We have lost one of our own in the line of duty today.. #patersonofficer Tamby Yagan was committed to protecting and serving. His tragic death leaves a loss for all of us.”

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The Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office is asking anyone with additional information about the incident to call 1-877-370-PCPO or email to