New Jersey

NJ Town Holding 5K Run In Honor of DARE Officer Killed in Wreck

Officer Matthew Tarentino, a local DARE instructor and fixture of his community, is survived by his wife and three children

What to Know

  • A 5K race is planned in honor of Matthew Tarentino, who was killed in a crash while on his way to work on May 30
  • Police say a driver on Interstate 78 crossed over and hit Tarentino's car and another vehicle; that driver and Tarentino both died
  • Proceeds from the race will go to educational funds for Tarentino's two sons and a daughter who was born a month after his death

A New Jersey police department is staging a 5K run and walk in honor of the officer who was killed in a car crash on his way to speak at a DARE graduation for fifth graders earlier this year.

The Making a Difference 5K and 1-mile fun run is set for 9 a.m. Saturday at the Summit Green and is in honor of Summit police officer Matthew Tarentino, who was killed in a wreck on on his way to work in May.

Proceeds from the race, organized by the Summit Police Athletic League, will go toward education funds for Tarentino's two sons and a daughter born a month after his death. 

“Detective Matthew Tarentino was a competitive runner who thoroughly enjoyed the sport,” said officer Kathleen Maggiulli, the race's coordinator. “Initiating this run in Matt’s name to benefit his family is a fitting tribute that would mean the world to him."

Tarentino was heading to Lawton C. Johnson Summit Middle School on May 30 when a 68-year-old driver crossed the median on Interstate 78 in Bernards Township and slammed into the officer's car and another vehicle.

The 68-year-old and Tarentino, a beloved member of the community who was posthumously promoted to detective, were both killed in the crash. 

"Any death is tragic but such a young,vibrant, energetic man. He was a big part of our community and it was a huge blow and obviously I will never forget it," said Summit Police Chief Robert Weck.

To learn more about the race, visit the "Making a Difference 5k" page on Race Rooster

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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