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Bergenfield Daily Voice serves Bergenfield, Dumont & New Milford

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The face of a hero: NJSP Trooper Marc Castellano

Photo Credit: OF APP.COM

UPDATE : Authorities have released details of the chain of events leading to the death of Marc K. Castellano, who was struck by a car on Route I-195 while searching for an armed man who, it turned out, never existed.

Diana Hoffman, 30, is being held on a variety of charges, including eluding police in a high-speed pursuit and causing a false public alarm by claiming an armed man was with her in the car she abandoned on the highway. She had a court appearance today in which she yawned frequently, a sign that she was in withdrawal from some type of drug.


Authorities noted that Hoffman last week led police on a chase that they abandoned because of the danger it posed to the public.

She was already in custody when more than 100 law enforcement officers and emergency personnel converged on the area to look for what turned out to be a phantom, authorities said Monday.

The highly-trained Castellano was part of the team looking for the purported gunman when he was struck on the shoulder of the highway by a 2010 Volkswagen Jetta driven by a 20-year-old Jackson Township man, who police said wasn’t charged. They didn’t explain why the car was on the highway’s shoulder.

Arrangements have yet to be announced, but it is certain Castellano will receive the tribute he deserves, with officers from numerous corners of New Jersey, and out of state, attending. CHECK BACK WITH CLIFFVIEWPILOT.COM FOR DETAILS.

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Born in Lakewood, Castellano lived in Jackson until he moved to Howell six years ago, according to a report on . He graduated from Jackson Memorial High School in 1998, and received a Jackson PBA scholarship that year.

He received an associate’s degree from Ocean County College in 2000, his bachelor of science degree from Rutgers University in 2003 and had just earned a master’s degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Castellano was a two-year starter at middle linebacker from 1996-97 and a team captain his senior year for the Jackson Memorial High School football team, a former coach of his told The Asbury Park Press.

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