ROXBURY - A retired New Jersey police lieutenant has died after he was seriously injured in a bicycle accident during the Police Unity Tour fundraiser.
Lt. Joseph Franklin died Wednesday at Morristown Medical Center.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Joseph Franklin,” his family said in a statement. “Helping others even in death, he donated his organs to those in need. We request privacy during this extremely difficult time and thank the community for their support.”
Few details about the accident have been released, but the Far Hills Police Department tells News 12 New Jersey that the accident happened in their jurisdiction Monday.
Lt. Franklin served on the Roxbury police force for 25 years, according to Roxbury Police Chief Marc Palanchi. Franklin also started the Roxbury police Explorer’s Program in 1991.
“Over 500 young men and women participated in the Explorer’s Program during Joe’s supervision. He gave his time, energy and provided leadership and guidance to young people effortlessly,” Chief Palanchi said in a statement on the department’s Facebook page.
Hundreds of police officers are taking part in the 320-mile bike ride, a four-day event that ends at the National Law Enforcement Officer's Memorial and Museum in Washington, D.C. Money raised through the ride goes to the memorial's fund.
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.