Watchung cop killed while in pursuit of suspicious car

? A Watchung police officer died in a car accident in North Plainfield while pursuing a suspicious vehicle Wednesday night.

Authorities say undercover cops were patrolling a car lot in Watchung when they spotted a suspicious vehicle and called for a uniformed officer. Authorities say Matthew Melchionda responded and followed the suspicious vehicle into North Plainfield where he tried to pass a car, but hit a van. Melchionda then crashed into a tree in James Edmondson?s yard. Edmondson says he heard a loud crash and looked out his window to see a patrol car wrapped around his tree.

Melchionda died from his injuries. The people in the van are in the hospital with minor injuries. The vehicle the officer was following got away.

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