A New Jersey police officer headed home after his shift ended was killed early Thursday when an alleged drunken driver crashed into his vehicle on the Garden State Parkway.
Jason Marles, 32, who had served on the Ocean Gate force for nine years, was northbound when his Jeep Cherokee was struck from behind around 3:20 a.m., near milepost 83.3 in Toms River, said Ocean County Prosecutor Marlene Lynch Ford.
The collision forced Marles' vehicle to spin and then strike a guardrail on the right berm and overturn. It finally came to rest on its roof against a tree and burst into flames.
Marles, the married father of two young children, was pronounced dead at the scene.
“We are obviously all devastated by the loss of this officer, and our condolences are extended to his family,” said Ford. “We also extend our condolences to the colleagues and officers who worked with Officer Marles at the Ocean Gate Police Department, a relatively small department where members treat one another like family.”
Fan, follow and download: Get the latest from NBCPhiladelphia.com anytime, anywhere. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and NBC Philadelphia. Sign up for our breaking news newsletter. And, get breaking news delivered right to your mobile phone -- just text PHIBREAKING to 639710 to sign up. (Message and data rates may apply.)