NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A police chase ends with a deadly crash in Newark, costing a local correctional officer his life.
Investigators say authorities with the Hillside Police Department, one town over, were chasing a car that slammed into another – fatally pinning the officer in his vehicle.
“It’s heart wrenching right now,” Carlton Easton said.
Easton was a longtime friend and coworker of Omar Martin, employed at Newark’s Northern State Prison.
Martin, a correctional police officer there, was killed in his car early Saturday morning. He was caught in the path of what is described by witnesses as a police chase with an officer pursuing three men inside a silver car.
According to the New Jersey Attorney General’s office, the Hillside officer was pursuing a Nissan Altima around 2:30 a.m. when the driver of the Nissan crashed into Martin’s Ford Mustang at Bragaw Avenue and Aldine Street, pushing the Mustang into a utility pole.
The chase started in a different jurisdiction, with the officer following the car into Newark.
At the Martin family home, CBS2’s Dave Carlin met relatives and friends who said they’ve lost an outgoing and generous man.
They say he had moved in with his mom to take care of her and had an adult son.
“It’s still rough right now. It’s hard to see anybody taken away, but especially a person who loved life the way he loves life,” Easton added.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Officer Omar Martin from Northern State Prison. He was killed early this morning by a driver of a stolen vehicle involved in an active police chase. He was taken to soon and our blue family is devastated. pic.twitter.com/Vusk7Aqp8a
— New Jersey PBA Local 105 (@NJPBA_LOCAL_105) August 24, 2019
Of the three men in the Altima, two were taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The third man was taken to the Hillside Police Department. The identities of the three men are not being released at this time.
No further details, including what started the chase, have been made available.