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  • Lakewood police officer killed in early morning crash

    http://http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs..../NEWS/70514008

    LAKEWOOD — Patrolman William Pressler died Monday morning about 4 a.m. on Route 528 as a result of a motor vehicle crash in his patrol car, sources said.

    Pressler graduated in 2001 from the Ocean County Police Academy when he was hired by the Lakewood Police Department. In his six years as a police officer he had come to be appreciated as an exceptional team member, his co-workers said.

    Pressler graduated with patrol officers Jason Yahr and Jeanette Shimonovich in 2001. Shimonovich and Yahr had often been partnered with Pressler on many calls as they worked the same shifts guarding the residents and streets of Lakewood.

    Pressler's widow received calls of condolences from Gov. Corzine and Colonel Rick Fuentes of the New Jersey State Police.

    Tears flowed freely among police officers gathered and huddled behind the police station this morning as they consoled each other over the death of a comrade.

    Pressler was also a firefighter and member of the Lakewood Fire Company No.1.

    Pressler's patrol car went off the roadway on an small isolated stretch of Route 528 where there are no residential homes. Sources said the officer may swerved to avoid hitting a deer.

    At the accident scene, Patrolman Rodney Youmans directed traffic through the detour which blocked off Route 528 at Miller Street. The department's top brass were at the scene and stopped to exchange words with Youmans about the tragedy.

    The accident is being investigated by the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office Fatal Accident Support Team and patrol officers from Brick and Manchester assisted as members of the team. Police departments from throughout Ocean County, including the Sheriff's Department, are at the police station assisting the department with directing traffic.

    A press conference is scheduled at 1 p.m. at the Lakewood Municipal Building where Authorities will officially release the name of the officer. The Ocean County Prosecutor released the following statement: "It is with deepest sympathies that Prosecutor Thomas F. Kelaher announces the press conference regarding the Lakewood Township Police Officer who died this morning."

  • #2
    Swerved to miss deer

    Posted by the Asbury Park Press on 05/14/07
    BY MARGARET F. BONAFIDE

    Post Comment
    LAKEWOOD — William Preslar, 36, of Lakewood, was the first officer to die in the line of duty in the township in more than a half century, after crashing his patrol car early this morning en route to assist another officer.

    Preslar leaves behind a widow, Lisa and two daughters, ages four and five, said Chief Robert C. Lawson, during a press conference outside the front of the Police Headquarters in Lakewood.

    It was clear that the announcement was difficult for Lawson and Mayor Ray Coles who also spoke about the tragedy. Lawson and other Lakewood officials were flanked by dozens of Preslar's fellow officers who stood on the stairs of the municipal building behind the chief.

    Preslar was killed in a 4 a.m. crash on Route 528 while en route to assist another officer to provide backup, Lawson said. He never arrived at the scene, Lawson said, needing a moment to compose himself.

    Lawson said that the patrol car was equipped with a camera and the traffic safety officers and members of the Ocean County Prosecutor's office and the Sheriff's Department are investigating. The video showed that there had been a deer in the roadway and that Preslar had taken evasive action to try to miss the animal, causing him to lose control of the car, Lawson said.

    About 4:23 a.m. Lakewood police received a call from someone in a passing truck that they had seen a police car with its lights flashing off the side of the road on Route 528, and that the car appeared to be disabled, Lawson said.

    Using the Global Positioning System in Preslar's vehicle, the officer was found in his vehicle, unresponsive by another police officer, Lawson said. The crash was in an area where construction was ongoing. Preslar crashed into a tree, police said.

    The crash happened on a portion of the roadway where there is a straightaway after a curve. Preslar had been on the straight portion of the roadway when he swerved to avoid hitting the deer, Lawson said. It is unclear if there was gravel in the roadway because of the ongoing construction in the area, Lawson said.

    The investigation is continuing, Lawson said.

    Preslar was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, Lawson said. His speed has not been determined at this time, Lawson said.

    Preslar had requested to work the midnight shift and was a member of the tactical team, a 20 member team made up of all volunteers, said Deputy Chief Frederick J Capper who heads the team.

    "It is an all volunteer unit and the training is hard, the calls are harder and he was
    always there and was a guy you could really count on," Capper said.

    Tears flowed freely among police officers gathered and huddled behind the police station this morning as they consoled each other over the death of a comrade.

    Preslar graduated in 2001 from the Ocean County Police Academy when he was hired by the Lakewood Police Department. In his six years as a police officer he had come to be appreciated as an exceptional team member, his coworkers said.

    Preslar graduated with patrol officers Jason Yahr and Jeanette Shimonovich in 2001. Shimonovich and Yahr had often been partnered with Preslar on many calls as they worked the same shifts on the streets of Lakewood.

    Preslar's widow Lisa received calls of condolences from Gov. Corzine and Colonel Rick Fuentes of the New Jersey State Police.

    Preslar was also a firefighter and member of the Lakewood Fire Company Engine 1.

    The accident is being investigated by the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office Fatal Accident Support Team and patrol officers from Brick and Manchester assisted as members of the team.

    Services for Preslar are set for Thursday at the Lakewood Funeral Home in Howell and the Funeral Mass will be held on Friday at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church on Madison Avenue, Lakewood. He will be interred at the Ocean County Memorial Park, Lawson said.

    Comment


    • #3
      To Officer Preslar's family, friends and co workers I'm sorry for your loss.
      "Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything!"-Wyatt Earp

      "You never know when crazy will show up!"-Irishdep

      Comment

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