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UPDATE: Garbage Truck Kills Former Sparta Employee

71-year-old man was killed Friday morning while crossing Knoll Road, police said.

A retired Sparta employee was killed Friday morning after he was struck by a garbage truck while crossing Knoll Road in Sparta.

James Friedberg, 71, the former Sparta Township Animal Control Officer, was crossing the road near Sparta Medical Center when a Blue Diamond garbage truck struck him, throwing him 60 feet from the point of impact, according to Sparta Township Police Sgt. John-Paul Beebe.

Beebe said the operator of the truck took evasive action but coud not avoid Friedberg, who was struck by the passenger's side of the vehicle when he crossed the southbound lane around 6:30 a.m., and was struck in the northbound lane, Beebe said.

Friedberg, who was the animal control officer for 33 years until he retired in 1999, was pronounced dead at the scene, Beebe said.

Beebe said the driver of the truck was uninjured. There is no indication that the driver was impaired in any way, Beebe said, or that the truck driver was speeding or driving recklessly. Beebe said the road was wet and visibility was limited due to the darkness of the morning sky at the time.

Certified accident reconstructionists CJ Grauerholz and Brian Hassloch, officers with the Sparta Township Police Department, will be recreating the incident to conduct an investigation.

Sparta Avenue was closed for several hours while officers investigated, Beebe said.

A pedestrian was also killed in Jefferson Thursday night while crossing Route 15.

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