William F. Craig
Chief of Police

1033 Weldon Rd
Lake Hopatcong, NJ 07849

973 697 1300 Police HQ
973 697 7230 Main Fax

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News Release
Release Date: July 22, 2013

Jefferson Twp

Jefferson Twp. Police Department

News Release



IR#:           2013-6563             


Date of Incident:     7/19/2013                        


Date of Release:      7/22/2013                 


Prepared by:  Capt. Eric Wilsusen


Approved by:                                



On Friday, July 19, 2013 at approx. 5:32 pm, Sgt. John Kessler, PO Rich Riena, PO Ryan McGowan responded to Ridge Road near Glen Road for a report of a single vehicle motor vehicle accident.


Officer Riena?s initial investigation revealed that a 2007 GMC pickup operated by Richard Plog age 74 of Newton was traveling west on Ridge Road when he suddenly lost control of his vehicle for an unknown reason. The vehicle struck a tree and burst into flames. The driver was trapped in the vehicle.


Upon their arrival officers had to use fire extinguishers to control the fire until fire department equipment could arrive. Jefferson Twp. Fire Co. #1 and the Sparta Fire Department arrived to extinguish the fire and extricate the driver.


The driver sustained life threatening injuries including critical burns. The driver was medivac?d to Morristown Memorial Hospital. On Saturday, July 20th the driver died as a result of his injuries.


The Morris County Sheriff? Department?s Crime Scene Unit responded to assist in the investigation. The accident is still under investigation by Traffic Officer, PO Rodger Davis.



Citizens who have information relating to crimes, criminal activity or wanted persons (fugitives) can call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Morris County Crime Stoppers offer the citizens of Morris County direct and easy access to their law enforcement community.  Reward and anonymity are the incentive.  Making Morris County a safer place to live is the benefit!

(973) COP-CALL



Note: All individuals charged with a crime are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law.                          

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