Ultimate sacrifice: The 72 New Jersey troopers who died in the line of duty
As fellow officers and loved ones prepare to lay late Trooper Frankie Williams to rest on Monday, the crash that took the rookie officer's life is a reminder of the dangers that law enforcement officers face on New Jersey's highways.
Williams is the 72nd officer of the State Police force to lose his life in the line of duty. All 72 troopers are remembered in the photo gallery above.
An overwhelming number of these deaths were caused by automobiles. Williams was the fourth New Jersey trooper to die while on duty in just two years — and all four died because of incidents on the road.
Williams was killed Dec. 5 while responding to a report of an erratic driver on Route 55. The driver's car ended up plowing into Williams' cruiser head on, killing both men.
Williams' funeral will be Monday afternoon on the Atlantic City boardwalk. Gov. Chris Christie has ordered flags to fly at half staff.
Among the troopers who gave the ultimate sacrifice are men as young as 22 and as old as 48. They hailed from all parts of the state. They include officers who fell ill and those who were murdered.
Biographies for all the fallen troopers are available at the State Police's In Memoriam website.
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-438-1015 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.