Man charged in crash that killed Perth Amboy officer

Authorities say a Colonia man has been charged in connection to the death of a Perth Amboy police officer who was transporting a prisoner.

Sean McGuirk, 23, appeared in court Thursday, where people say he appeared dazed. However, he lost his composure completely and burst into tears when the charges against him were read. His wife was also present in court, but people say she managed to keep her emotions in check.

McGuirk was charged with second-degree vehicular homicide and two counts of third-degree assault by auto for the early Friday morning accident. His attorney entered a not guilty plea to all charges.

The Middlesex County Prosecutor?s Office says McGuirk was intoxicated and his blood alcohol level was .10 when he ran two red lights and broadsided a police car. That was New Jersey's legal limit until 2004. It is now .08.

Men who ran to the crash site Friday morning say McGuirk did not appear intoxicated.

Officials say McGuirk's reckless driving caused the death of Thomas Raji, 31, and injury to another officer and the prisoner they were transporting. Prosecutors say they plan to use video from the police car as evidence.

Raji?s widow, who is pregnant, was in court Thursday as well. She sat in the front row with her family, friends and police officers. Raji was laid to rest Monday.

McGuirk, whose older brother is a Woodbridge police officer, was arrested Wednesday night. He was released shortly after posting a $100,000 bond. If convicted of all charges, McGuirk could face up to 20 years in prison.

Perth Amboy policeman dies in line of dutyPerth Amboy officer killed in crash laid to rest

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