BOONTON — A New Jersey State Police recruit who lost consciousness during a training exercise has died, the agency announced Wednesday.
Lucas C. Homeijer, 27, Boonton, a member of the 161st New Jersey State Police Academy Class, was training at the Academy in Sea Girt when he was injured and lost consciousness during an active countermeasures/boxing bout on November 25.
In a statement, the department said Homeijer died Tuesday. He had been hospitalized in critical condition since the incident at the state police academy in Sea Girt, Monmouth County.
Homeijer “was engaged in an active countermeasures/boxing bout with a fellow classmate” when Homeijer lost consciousness, state police said.
“Academy staff immediately stopped the exercise, rendered first aid, and contacted emergency medical services to respond,” the state police said. The recruit was transported to a hospital.
During a Wednesday afternoon press briefing, Governor Phil Murphy said he spoke with Homeijer’s mother earlier that morning and left a message for his father.
All flags will be flown at half-staff through Sunday, December 6, as per Executive Order 206 in honor of State Police Recruit Lucas C. Homeijer. (Click here to read Executive Order 206)
Colonel Pat Callahan of the New Jersey State Police said the 27-year-old grew up in a state police family; his mother and uncle are both retired troopers.
“One of the hardest things I’ve ever had to go through personally as a trooper, and as a dad, too,” Callahan said.
Callahan said, although its tough training, he said each of the instructors treats the recruits like their own kids. “Luke had a life of service even though it was short,” Callahan said.
Homeijer was an Eagle scout and attended Trooper Youth Week at age 17 and a graduate of Morris Knolls High School in Rockaway.
“I have no doubt that Luke Homeijer would’ve made a phenomenal Jersey trooper,” Callahan said.
Callahan said the 161st academy classmates are devastated and will continue with their training “with Luke in their hearts.”
The Morris County Board of Freeholders issued a statement today on the passing Homeijer.
“Our hearts go out to the Homeijer family and the entire community of Boonton on the tragic loss of Lucas Homeijer. The passing of this young, vibrant State Police recruit is deeply saddening as well as untimely. To his parents, Don and Denise, we mourn with you. To the family and all of Boonton, you are all in our prayers.”
No obituary information, nor information on any potential pending services have yet been issued.