- Associated Press - Monday, March 14, 2016

CINNAMINSON, N.J. (AP) - A New Jersey state trooper who was fatally struck by a passing motorist was laid to rest Monday.

Hundreds of mourners gathered in Cinnaminson for the funeral for Sean Cullen, who had been a trooper for about two years.

The 31-year-old trooper was born in Dublin, and his family moved to the United States when he was 3. He was a 2003 graduate of Cinnaminson High School, where he was a standout wrestler. He was an All-American wrestler at Lycoming College in Pennsylvania, where he earned a degree in criminal justice.

Cullen died Tuesday, a day after he was injured on Interstate 295 in Deptford Township while responding to a car fire. Several fire and police vehicles had emergency lights on, and Cullen was walking near the crash when he was struck.

Survivors include his fiancee and their 9-month-old son. His brother, Garrett, is also a state trooper.

While those who worked closest with Cullen are still reeling from the loss, the commander of the Bellmawr barracks where he was assigned said the intense show of support from fellow officers served as a powerful message to his loved ones.

“I can only fathom what the family is going through,” state police Lt. Patrick Gallagher. He said memories of Cullen’s fun-loving antics have helped him deal with his grief.

“As I told other members of the Bellmawr barracks that worked with Sean, today is our day to be strong,” Gallagher said. “We’ll have our time to mourn, but we need to be strong for the family and help them get through this.”

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadano attended the funeral in place of Gov. Chris Christie, who was campaigning out of state for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Monday. It was the third funeral for an officer that Christie has missed since December.

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