NEWARK — A Jersey City police officer was struck and killed while helping a motorist on the New Jersey Turnpike on Friday morning, according to Mayor Steven Fulop.

Fulop said Lt. Chris Robateau,49,  was in full uniform and was headed to work when he was involved in a "minor motor vehicle" with another motorist.

Jersey City police chief  Mike Kelly said that the other vehicle was a "rather large" DHL truck.

Fulop said he got out of his SUV to help the driver of the DHL truck involved when he was struck "with considerable force" by a pickup truck, according to the mayor.

State Police Sgt. Lawrence Peele said the incident happened near Exit 14 on Route 78 in the outer lanes. Peele said the driver who struck Robateau is co-operating and said the investigation is ongoing.

"We consider him on duty in JC being that he was looking to help someone which is what we want all JC officers to do all the time R.I.P Lt. Chris Robateau," Fulop wrote in his message. At a press conference, Fulop said that Robeteau will receive his full pension and health benefits.

Robateau had been a police officer since 1994 and was the .XO (executive officer) for the east district of the Jersey City Police.

Jersey City police chief Mike Kelly said the highly decorated and active officer "may be our best" on the 900 member force.

"He died a hero trying to help someone else," Kelly said he told Robateau's children.

Fulop said that he had a wife and three children and lived in Carteret.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to to the family and friends of Jersey City Police Lieutenant Christopher Robateau who was killed in the line of duty today. We mourn the passing of another #HERO gone to soon," NJ PBA president Patrick Colligan said in a tweet.

Last year, Summit police officer Matthew Tarentino, a Somerville resident, was killed after being struck head-on by a driver.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ.

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