- Associated Press - Friday, December 25, 2015

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) - Dozens of people, including some who traveled from across the country, gathered to remember two New Jersey police officers who died after their truck plunged off a bridge and into the water below on Christmas Day 2005.

The Jersey Journal (https://bit.ly/1U98tew ) reported family and friends held a moment of silence on Friday at 8:04 p.m., the time that Jersey City police officers Shawn Carson, 40, and Robert Nguyen, 30, died 10 years ago. Officers around the city got out of their vehicles and turned on their lights in memory of the two men.

Before the ceremony, ESU Commander Vincent Glenn told The Jersey Journal that Carson and Nguyen were “the backbone of the Emergency Service Unit for several years.”

The men were regulating traffic on the Lincoln Highway Bridge that links Kearny and Jersey City after the crash gates stopped working. They were unaware that the drawbridge had been raised on the foggy night and their truck plummeted into the Hackensack River below.

The Jersey Journal reported Jose Batista, his wife and two children drove 900 miles from Florida to attend the remembrance. Batista said he was best friends with Nguyen, and named his second child after him.

“I pretty much spent the whole day in denial,” said Batista. “It’s gotten easier throughout the years but it still hits me.”

Carson’s brother and mother, Toshe and Martha Ford, also wanted to take part in Friday’s ceremony. They drove up from South Carolina.

“He loved his family, loved his job, this was his city,” Toshe Ford said. “We grew up here, we went to school here there was no way we couldn’t come back.”

Martha Ford said, “It’s not how they died, it’s how they lived.” She added, “They were heroes each and every day.”

Following Friday’s moment of silence, family members dropped wreaths over the barricade of the bridge, which was renamed the Shawn Carson and Robert Nguyen Memorial Bridge in 2007.

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This story has been corrected to show the member newspaper is the Jersey Journal, not The Record.

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Information from: The Jersey Journal , https://www.nj.com/jjournal

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