SUMMIT, NJ - Summit Police Department Officer Matthew Tarentino has died as a result of injuries sustained in a multi-vehicle car crash that occurred at 6:20 a.m. this morning on Interstate 78 in Bernards.
Tarentino, 29, was traveling to work in Summit when a westbound car crossed over the Interstate 78 median and struck two eastbound vehicles. Two others were injured in the accident and transported to Morristown Hospital.
Summit Police Chief Robert Weck issued the following statement on his passing:
"In a tragic accident earlier today, the Summit Police Department and the entire city of Summit lost a valued officer, community member and friend. This loss has greatly affected not only our law enforcement community and the citizens of the city of Summit, but people far and wide.
Matthew Tarentino epitomized what a law enforcement officer should be: a respected, trusted colleague with unshakeable dedication and enthusiasm for his calling. He was the face of the department’s community policing unit and understood the importance of building relationships within Summit. This was validated by our department being recognized last week by the NJ State Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino with the 2017 Outstanding Community Policing award.
To those who have reached out to our department, we thank you. Your support has been extraordinarily touching and is a clear indication of how well respected Officer Tarentino was in our community. During his short time with us, Matt created a lasting imprint on our department and the city.
While Officer Matthew Tarentino may be gone, he will never be forgotten. The coming days, weeks and months will undoubtedly be difficult for all of us. We ask for the continued support of the community and for everyone to keep his wife, two boys and family in your thoughts and prayers.
As information on the memorial service becomes available, it will be published on the city website."
Officer Tarentino is survived by his wife and two children.