LINDEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – An off-duty police officer was killed and another injured when a car collided with a tractor-trailer early Monday morning on Route 1 in New Jersey.

It happened around 2:15 a.m. near Pleasant Avenue in Linden.

Authorities confirmed the person killed was Hillside Officer Giovanni Esposito.

Giovanni Esposito (credit: Hillside Police Department)

Another person inside the car was hospitalized with serious injuries. The driver of the tractor trailer was not hurt.

Police said both vehicles were traveling north when they collided. 

Route 1 was closed in both directions between Avenue C and W. Grand Avenue as the cause of the crash was under investigation. The highway reopened later Monday morning.

Hillside Police Chief Vincent Ricciardi released a statement about the crash on Monday.

“Officer Esposito was hired less than a year ago, in November of 2017. He then graduated at the top of his class from the Essex County Police Academy,” said Ricciardi. “Officer Esposito loved his job and was a warm and friendly person who was well-liked by all who knew him. He prided himself on serving the community of Hillside with diligence and compassion. His death is a profound loss to our department and we will miss him terribly. We wish his family solace and comfort during this extremely difficult time.”

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