NJ correctional police officer critically hurt after stopping to help crash victim

Jason Rawa, a 10-year CO veteran, was on his way home after working a double shift when the incident occurred

By Larry Higgs

TRENTON, N.J. — A chain reaction crash on Interstate 195 in Hamilton Friday night seriously injured an off-duty state corrections officer who stopped to help out, authorities said.

Jason Rawa, a 10-year corrections officer remains in stable but critical condition at Capital Health Regional Medical Center Trenton. He was injured on his way home from work, and a GoFundMe has been set up by his union, PBA Local 105, to help with his medical bills.

Rawa, 47, is married and has two children.
Rawa, 47, is married and has two children. (Photo/GoFundMe)

The incident occurred after a couch fell off a vehicle on the westbound lanes of I-195 in Hamilton, said Sgt. Philip Curry, a New Jersey State Police spokesman. That vehicle did not stop.

Another vehicle swerved to avoid the couch, hit it and ran off the road and struck the guardrail in the median of the highway, Curry said.

Rawa was traveling east and stopped on the median to help the driver of the vehicle that hit the guard rail. A second westbound vehicle then struck the couch, crashed into the vehicle on the median and pushed it into Rawa, Curry said.

The extent of his injuries wasn’t revealed until Rawa was taken to the hospital and examined by doctors.

The crash report says he was initially alert and coherent at the scene. He was talking to troopers that responded and there was nothing indicative of the more serious injuries, Curry said.

“He stopped to help out and unfortunately ended up getting severely injured,” said William Sullivan, president of PBA local 105. “We’re glad he tried to help, but this is terrible.”

Rawa, 47, is married and has two children, Sullivan said. He was on his way home after working a double shift. His work location was not publicized.

A statement from the union Sunday said Rawa is in a coma undergoing medical treatment.

The GoFundMe drive was set up to help cover medical bills since Rawa was not on duty at the time of the incident, Sullivan said. As of Sunday evening, the effort had raised nearly $15,000.


(c)2021 NJ Advance Media Group, Edison, N.J.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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