CLINTON, NJ – Circumstances of an incident that occurred Saturday morning where a marked State Police Chevrolet Tahoe was damaged while stopped on the westbound right shoulder of Interstate 78 is under investigation by New Jersey State Police.

Eastbound lanes of I -78 have been reopened for travel but westbound lanes were still closed as of 1:30 p.m. and traffic was being diverted at Exit 20A. 

At 4:25 a.m. Saturday, troopers from Perryville Station responded to a single-car crash at milepost 19.5.

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Antonio Melendez, Jr., 29, of Phillipsburg, was driving a 2000 Honda Civic when he crashed on the right shoulder of the roadway, police said.

While the troopers were attending to Melendez, the rear window of the State Police Tahoe was struck and shattered by an unknown object, according to a release issued by the New Jersey State Police.

A search ensued in the area of the crash for potential suspects immediately following the broken window, but no suspicious persons were located, the release said.

Both directions of Interstate 78 were temporarily closed due to the investigation and no one was injured as a result of the second incident.

State Police Major Crimes Unit, Fatal Accident Unit, Crime Scene Investigations Unit, Troop “B” Criminal Investigations Office, and T.E.A.M.S Unit North, responded to the location to investigate.

Melendez was taken to Hunterdon Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries sustained during the accident, police said.

The crash and troop car incident remain under investigation. There are no charges at this time and no further information available, police said.

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