By Anthony G. Attrino The Star-Ledger
WOODBRIDGE – The driver killed in a single-car accident on the Garden State Parkway Sunday night was a decorated Port Authority police officer who helped with rescue and recovery operations at the World Trade Center after the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Lt. Kevin Murphy, 55, died about 8:30 p.m. Sunday when his Honda Accord ran off the highway’s northbound lanes and hit a guardrail and light pole near Exit 29, according to the New Jersey State Police.Murphy, a Hazlet resident, may have suffered a medical problem that contributed to the crash, officials said on Monday.The state police said a medical examiner would try to pinpoint the medical problem.On Monday afternoon, the Port Authority issued this statement:
“The Port Authority family was saddened to learn of the tragic death of Port Authority Police Lt. Kevin Murphy, who died last night in a traffic accident while driving to work at Newark Liberty International Airport. Lt. Murphy was a decorated 28-year veteran of the PAPD, and was a critical member of the team that helped with the rescue and recovery operation at the World Trade Center in the days and weeks following 9/11. Our most sincere condolences go out to Lt. Murphy’s wife and two children.”
In 2011, Murphy traveled to Athens, Greece as part of an international team of 101 Law Enforcement Officer runners and 10 Special Olympics athletes, serving as Guardians of the Flame. The athletes ran the “Flame of Hope” throughout Greece, Cyprus and Istanbul.
Murphy had been involved with Special Olympics New Jersey (SONJ) for two decades and served two years ago as coordinator for the local Torch Run. He also volunteered at Summer Games, the Polar Bear Plunges, the Plane Pull and the Snow Bowl – all SONJ events.