TRENTON — The Attorney General’s Office today identified the decedent and officer who were involved in a fatal crash in which a police vehicle struck a pedestrian in the Atco section of Waterford, New Jersey, on November 23, 2023. The individual who died during the encounter has been identified as Christofe “Christopher” Wita, 44, of Berlin, New Jersey.
According to the preliminary investigation, Sgt. Richard Sbarra of the Waterford Township Police Department was on duty, driving a department vehicle, when he struck Mr. Wita on the White Horse Pike (Route 30) in Atco. Mr. Wita was pronounced deceased on scene at 2:19 a.m.
The investigation into the events surrounding his death are ongoing, and no further information is being released at this time.
A 2019 law, P.L. 2019, c. 1, requires the Attorney General’s Office to conduct investigations of a person’s death that occurs during an encounter with a law enforcement officer acting in the officer’s official capacity or while the decedent is in custody. It requires that all such investigations be presented to a grand jury to determine if the evidence supports the return of an indictment against the officer or officers involved.