An aspiring cop was allegedly fleeing police Sunday when he struck a cop car, killing a Millville, N.J., police officer and injuring his partner.
The pursuit started after Timothy Seidel, 23, who was driving a Toyota Scion, allegedly struck a different cop car, according to a press release from the Cumberland County Prosecutor's Office.
Officer Chris Reeves, 40, and his partner, Officer Jonathan Seidel (no relation to the driver), 27, had just been called to join the pursuit when their cruiser was hit. Reeves was killed in the crash, becoming the first Millville cop ever killed in the line of duty. His partner remained hospitalized in stable condition Monday and may need surgery, cops said.
Investigators said the driver, Timothy Seidel, had hoped to become a Millville police officer and had recently passed the civil service test. But a letter was sent out Monday, one day after the accident, informing him that he had been rejected because he doesn't meet residency requirements, police said.
Seidel, who was also injured in the crash, was airlifted to Cooper Hospital in critical condition.
He was charged Monday afternoon with second-degree vehicular homicide, second-degree aggravated assault, two counts of aggravated manslaughter, eluding police and other related charges. His bail was set at $500,000 full cash or bond, according to prosecutors.
Reeves was an eight-year veteran of the Millville Police Department, a husband and father to a two-year-old boy. Reeves' wife, Susan, is also a police officer.
His friends said he always wanted to be a cop. "I like to think he died happy doing what he wanted to do," said Spencer Moore.
Before joining the Millville Police Department, Reeves served in the Marine Corps and also worked with the Millville Fire Department.
A black banner was draped over the front of the Millville Police Department Monday and all flags in the city were flown at half-staff in honor of Reeves.
The Policemen's Benevolent Association set up a fund for Reeves' son. Donations can be sent to "Officer Christopher Reeves Fund" at P.O. Box 1142, Millville, NJ 08332.
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