New Jersey state trooper killed while responding to car fire laid to rest

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Monday, March 14, 2016
New Jersey state trooper killed while responding to car fire laid to rest
Nora Muchanic is in Cinnaminson with the story

DEPTFORD TOWNSHIP, N.J. -- Hundreds gathered Monday to bid a final farewell to a New Jersey state trooper killed when he was struck by a passing motorist last week.

Trooper Sean Cullen was laid to rest in Cinnaminson, where he grew up, with the rainy weather adding to the dreariness of the sad day.

PHOTOS: Funeral for Trooper Sean Cullen

The 31-year-old died early last Tuesday after being struck by a car on Interstate 295 in West Deptford while responding to an accident.

Friends, family and police officers from all over the country came to Saint Charles Borromeo Roman Catholic Church to pay their final respects.

"Law enforcement is a brotherhood," said Sgt. Anthony Carter, of the Connecticut State Police. "This was tragic. No matter how far it is, we try to get there."

Born in Ireland, Cullen was a trooper for less than two years. Before that, he worked at police departments in Sea Isle City, Mount Holly and Westhampton.

"We're all family," said Middletown Twp. Police Officer Jacob Gallagher. "We're all here to support one another, especially now, when it seems police aren't favored as much. It's very important that we show we care about each other."

PHOTOS: Remembering Tpr. Sean Cullen

Officer Bill Wentz, a member of the University of Delaware Police force, went through the Cape May County Police Academy with Cullen.

"Sean was just a funny guy," Wentz said. "He was a good family man. He was just a real good guy."

Trooper Cullen is survived by his fiancee, Aryn, who is expecting, a 9-month-old son, his parents, a sister and two brothers, one of whom is also a state trooper.

"We're going to show the family - and he had family members in the state police - show the family the respect they are due," Bridgeton Police Chief Michael Gaimari said. "It's very hard for them."

"It's the fact of how he lost his life trying to help somebody else," said Susan Hammond of Palmyra, N.J. "It's just sad. It's just really sad."

"I can't put myself, really, in their shoes," said N.J. State Police Capt. Steve Jones. "But they seem to be a very strong family, and with the support that they're getting right now, we really hope that they're going to be okay. We are going to maintain our position as part of their family for the rest of their lives."