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HomeGeneral9/11 First Responders Advocate Joseph Zadroga Dies in New Jersey Parking Lot...

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

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Joseph Zadroga
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Joseph Zadroga used to be an advocate for sick 9/11 first responders. But he won’t be able to do that anymore. That’s because the nobleman, who endured more than his fair share of tragedy while on Earth, is finally at rest. 

Zadroga died after he was hit by a vehicle in a New Jersey parking lot, according to the police. Galloway Township police responded to the scene of the accident shortly after 2 p.m. ET on Saturday, January 13.

The call reported a car accident at Bacharach Institute for Rehabilitation in Pomona. According to investigators at the scene, James McNeal hit Zadroga after pulling his Nissan SUV into the parking space.

Zadroga, 76, was standing outside his parked car when it happened. “As McNeal was pulling into his parking space, he accelerated, struck the Hyundai, and then struck Zadroga, who was subsequently pinned underneath the Nissan,” police said. 

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Responding officers tried their best to preserve Zadroga’s life before transporting him to a local hospital, where he was declared dead. The investigation into the accident is still ongoing. Zadroga’s life was a full one, but it was not without tragedy. He had a successful career. He was the former chief of the North Arlington Police Department in New Jersey.

The former chief was also a family man, and he had a son he was proud of. His boy was New York Police Department Detective James Zadroga. He was one of the 9/11 first responders who died due to respiratory disease linked to toxic exposure while working at ground zero.

He passed away in 2006 at 34, becoming the first NYPD officer to die after reporting ground zero-related health problems. His death shook his father, but it also set him on a different, more impactful path.

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Following the tragedy, the grieving father dedicated his life to fighting for ground zero workers who suffered from serious respiratory ailments. His advocacy is what made him a nationally known figure. He is the brain behind the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which offers health screenings and financial aid to sick 9/11 first responders. 

News of his death has spread since his demise, and many of those who knew and respected him have been offering condolences. One notable group among the mourners is the Sergeants Benevolent Association. 

They offered their condolences to the former police chief via social media, a place that never forgets. “Father of the late NYPD Det James Zadroga, he spearheaded the #ZadrogaAct for 9/11 victims & families. Tremendous legacy. #nypd,” SBA wrote.

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Others who have come forward to pay tributes describe the late Zadroga as a passionate and great man who led by example. A testimony to the fact that the world has indeed lost a gem. 

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