Father of fallen NYPD officer who advocated for 9/11 compensation fund struck and killed by SUV

Jan 14, 2024, 3:09 PM

GALLOWAY, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey man who became a vocal advocate for families of 9/11 first responders following the death of his NYPD officer son was struck and killed by an SUV in a hospital parking lot, police said Sunday.

Joseph Zadroga, 76, of Little Egg Harbor, was the father of Detective James Zadroga, who died in 2006 of a respiratory ailment his family believed was linked to the time he spent at Ground Zero.

His namesake James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 provides federal health benefits to first responders who fell ill after the attacks in 2001.

Police say the elder Zadroga was struck in the parking lot of a hospital in Galloway on Saturday afternoon.

Zadroga had been standing next to his car when another driver attempting to pull into a parking spot near him accelerated and struck Zadroga with his SUV, pinning him underneath, according to a Galloway police statement posted on Facebook Sunday.

Zadroga was taken into the hospital where he was pronounced dead. Police said they are still investigating the crash, which involved an 82-year-old driver. No immediate charges were announced.

News of Zadroga’s death quickly reverberated among Sept. 11 survivors and advocates.

“To the 9/11 Community. We just learned Joe Zadroga passed away. Joe was the father of Det James Zadroga NYPS the hero our legislation is named after,” John Feal, another prominent advocate, wrote in a post on Facebook. “While we do not have all the details and will not speculate, we will wait for all the details. We do send our condolences and we mourn with the Zadroga family.”

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Father of fallen NYPD officer who advocated for 9/11 compensation fund struck and killed by SUV