Newark crash victim identified as former Elizabeth police officer

The man who died Friday after a fiery pickup truck crash near the border of Elizabeth and Newark has been identified as a former Elizabeth police officer.



According to the Elizabeth PBA Facebook page, Jim Varga was also a former Marine and Vietnam veteran.



News 12 reported that the pickup crashed around 3:30 p.m. Friday near the 1100 block of Jefferson Avenue on the Newark side. The truck caught fire after the crash, which spread to another truck.



Witnesses say that the pickup struck a utility pole before the crash, which knocked out power to parts of the neighborhood for a time. People who saw the crash say that the flames were at least 6 feet high.



The Essex County Prosecutor's Office is investigating the incident.



Varga had apparently retired from the Elizabeth Police force two years ago.


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