Police officer responding to call hits, kills pedestrian

LACEY TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) - Authorities say a police officer responding to a call struck and killed a pedestrian who was trying to cross a roadway in southern New Jersey

Ocean County prosecutors say the accident occurred around 3:25 a.m. Sunday on Lacey Road in Lacey Township. Witnesses told authorities that 25-year-old Neil Vandeputt, of Toms River, was crossing against the traffic signal when he was struck by a cruiser driven by Lacey officer Andrew Slota.

Prosecutors say Slota tried to avoid Vandeputt, who was struck by the front passenger side of the vehicle. Slota's cruiser then struck a utility pole and came to rest in a bank parking lot.

Vandeputt was pronounced dead at the scene a short time later. Slota was treated at a hospital for undisclosed injuries that are not considered life-threatening.

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