Perth Amboy policeman dies in line of duty

A Perth Amboy police officer died Friday from injuries suffered in a fatal car crash that shocked two local police departments.

Officer Thomas Raji, 31, was cut from his cruiser after a Nissan Altima smashed into the side of his patrol car around 3:45 a.m. Authorities say Raji and Patrolman Matthew Mercurio, 42, were transporting a prisoner to the Middlesex County Jail. While enroute to the facility, 23-year-old Sean McGuirk, the brother of a Woodbridge officer, plowed into the squad car.

Mercurio suffered a head injury described as severe, while passenger Gregory Efford, 37, sustained non-life threatening injuries.

Officer Raji was expecting his first child. He was the son-in-law of Perth Amboy Council President Peter Jimenez. The flag will fly at half staff outside department headquarters in honor of Raji.

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