TRIBUTE: A stretch of Route 17 in Waldwick officially became the Christopher Goodell Memorial Highway yesterday after Gov. Christie signed a bill designating it in memory of the fallen hero.
New Jersey Assembly members stood and applauded yesterday after unanimously approving a measure to rename the roadway in March, in constrast to yesterday’s subdued ceremony.
“It was a very fitting and touching tribute to a great officer,” Lt. Douglas Moore told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .
Goodell was working a radar detail in his unmarked cruiser, parked on the shoulder of southbound Route 17, when it was struck by an 18-wheeler driven by a Brooklyn trucker the morning of July 17.
The impact instantly killed him, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said.
The trucker responsible remained free on bail, charged with vehicular homicide.
“Words cannot describe the remorse everyone feels over the tragic loss of Officer Goodell,” said Assemblyman Dave Russo, a co-sponsor of the bill. “He was the epitome of selfless public service. Commemorating his name is one way no one will ever forget the honor with which he served.”
“Officer Goodell’s life was marked by protecting and assisting the public,” added Assemblyman Scott Rumana, another co-sponsor. “Whether putting himself in harm’s way in the military or serving as a police officer, his life was dedicated to caring for others. His commitment to keeping us safe will never be forgotten as we fittingly pay tribute to a fallen hero.”
Co-sponsors included state Sens. Paul Sarlo of Wood-Ridge and Bob Gordon of Fair Lawn, state Assemblywoman Marlene Caride of Ridgefield and state Assemblymen David Russo of Ridgewood and Tim Eustace of Maywood.
Goodell, 32, joined the U.S. Marine Corps after being graduated from Waldwick High School in 2000. He served with the Waldwick Police Department for five years and was recently honored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving’s New Jersey chapter for outstanding efforts in drunk driving enforcement.
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