NORTH BERGEN - A police car struck and killed two people on the New Jersey Turnpike after the pair left a disabled vehicle.

The accident happened just after 1 a.m. Wednesday in the northbound lanes of the eastern spur in North Bergen, near the Vince Lombardi service area.

State police say Jason Champion, 41, of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Nuwnah Laroche, 34, of East Elmhurst, were traveling in a Cadillac SUV when it became disabled on southbound side of the roadway.

The pair left the disabled vehicle and were walking in the left northbound lane when they were struck by a Washington Township police car driven by Officer Arsenio Pecora, authorities said.

The officer was returning home from training at Fort Dix when the crash occurred. Pecora was treated for minor injuries and released.

The two pedestrians were pronounced dead at the scene at around 4:30 a.m.