LINDEN, NJ - A motor vehicle crash on Route 1 Monday morning took the life of an off-duty Hillside Police officer, according to authorities.

Just after 2:15 a.m. a car traveling north on W. Edgar Road (Route 1) collided with a tractor heading north at Pleasant Avenue

The two occupants of the car were both taken to Newark University Hospital with serious injuries. One.  Hillside Officer Giovanni Esposito was pronounced dead.

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The driver of the tractor was not injured.

A statement was released from Hillside Police Chief Vincent Ricciardi, this morning.

"The men and women of the Hillside Police Department are deeply saddened to have learned the news of a vehicle crash last night in Linden, N.J. which took the life of one of our own, Officer Giovanni Esposito. 

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. 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."

The crash is being investigated by the Linden Police Department.

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