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9/11 First Responders Advocate Joseph Zadroga Dies in Tragic Parking Lot Accident

Galloway Township

By: Richard L. Smith 

Joseph Zadroga, known for his passionate advocacy for first responders affected by the 9/11 attacks, tragically lost his life in a freak accident on Saturday when he was struck by a vehicle in a New Jersey parking lot.AHAJoseph Zadroga, whose son, James Zadroga, was a first responder lost in the aftermath of 9/11, had just completed a visit to his wife in the hospital when the tragic accident occurred.

The incident, which occurred around 2:01 p.m. on January 13, took place at the Bacharach Rehabilitation Center located at 61 W. Jimmie Leeds Road in Galloway Township.

Galloway Township Police, responding to the scene, reported that 82-year-old James McNeal from Absecon was driving a grey 2021 Nissan SUV into a parking space when he accidentally accelerated, striking Zadroga.

Zadroga, 76, of Little Egg Harbor, was standing beside his parked 2015 red Hyundai Tucson when the accident occurred.

The force of the collision pinned Zadroga underneath the Nissan.

Despite immediate on-scene life-saving efforts, Zadroga was transported to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center Mainland Division, where he was sadly pronounced deceased.

Joseph Zadroga has been a prominent figure in advocating for the health and well-being of 9/11 first responders.

He played a crucial role in championing the Zadroga Act, a significant piece of legislation that provided critical financial support to families of first responders who suffered illnesses following the September 11 attacks.

The Galloway Township Police Department Traffic Safety Unit, led by Sergeant First Class Kevin Welsh and Officer Kaitlyn Reyes, is currently conducting a thorough investigation into the accident.

At this time, the investigation is still ongoing, and further details are awaited.

The community mourns the loss of Joseph Zadroga, remembering him not just for his tragic end but for his tireless efforts and dedication to the cause of 9/11 first responders.

His legacy in supporting these heroes and their families will continue to be honored and remembered.