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Hundreds attend funeral for NJ officer killed in tractor trailer crash

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WALDWICK, N.J. (PIX11) – Hundreds of family, friends and colleagues said their final goodbyes Tuesday to a New Jersey police officer killed in the line of duty when an 18-wheeler crashed into his squad car.

Officer Christopher Goodell was laid to rest at an 11 a.m. funeral at St. Luke’s Roman Catholic Church in Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey.

The 32-year-old was monitoring drivers’ speed along Route 17 in Waldwick on July 17 when a tractor trailer slammed into his unmarked police car parked on the highway shoulder, pinning him between the massive truck and a retaining wall. Goodell was pronounced dead at the scene.

Truck driver Ryon Cumberbatch has been charged with vehicular manslaughter in the case. Bergen County prosecutor John Molinelli said there’s no evidence Cumberbatch tried to stop his truck before the deadly collision.

Recently engaged and planning a 2016 wedding, Goodell has served in the U.S. Marine Corps, which he enlisted in after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

When he returned home after overseas deployment and three years in the Marine Corps reserves, Goodell joined the Waldwick Police Department. There, he served on the force for at least five years.

“Chris truly loved his job and served the community with dedication and devotion,” his obituary reads.

Goodell is survived by his fiancée, his parents and their partners, a sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephew, as well as “many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.”

His passing marked the second on-duty death of a New Jersey police officer in a single week. Days before the crash, Jersey City Officer Melvin Santiago, 23, was shot and killed by a suspect while responding to a robbery call.

In lieu of flowers, those wishing to express their condolences are asked to make memorial contribution to The Christopher Goodell Scholarship Fund through the Allendale/Waldwick PBA Local 17, P.O. Box 166, Allendale, NJ 07401.