One day after a storm tore through the Northeast, covering New Jersey roadways with snow, a Jersey City, New Jersey, police lieutenant was hit and killed while helping a motorist on his way to work, police said.
Lt. Christopher Robateau -- a more than 20-year veteran -- was in his vehicle this morning when he was hit by a truck, Jersey City Police Chief Michael Kelly said. Robateau stepped out to help the truck driver, and that's when he was struck and killed by another vehicle, Kelly said.
Robateau died a "hero," Kelly said at a news conference. "His instincts are always to help and save others and that is what he was doing when he was struck."
ABC station WABC-TV in New York said the driver that hit the lieutenant on the New Jersey Turnpike in Newark stopped at the scene and is cooperating.
Kelly said Robateau, a father, had "rare combination" of personal and professional skills and was "truly a role model."
He was "one of our most active police officers" from the time he entered the department in 1994 and "won almost every award that a police officer could win," Kelly said. Robateau "came to work every day and worked his hardest to make sure citizens of this city were safe."
He was also "an extraordinary family man," Kelly said. "Here's an active police officer who put many, many hours in beyond his eight-hour work tour, and then went home to be an unbelievable father."
Condolences have poured in following the deadly crash.
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 - President Patrick Colligan.#LODD pic.twitter.com/9B4PGJrwHq— New Jersey State PBA (@NJSPBA) January 5, 2018
Lt. Robateau served with distinction with fellow HCPO detectives while on-loan to this office for a number of years. Our prayers and our deepest sympathies go out to his family and his colleagues at the JCPD.— ProsecutorSuarezHCPO (@HCPOProsecutor) January 5, 2018
We lost a great JC Police Officer on his way to work. He exited his car to help someone + was struck by a car on the turnpike. 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— Steven Fulop (@StevenFulop) January 5, 2018