OAKLAND, N.J. – A 56-year-old actor in local productions was struck and killed by a car in a freak accident in Oakland late Tuesday afternoon, authorities confirmed.
Thomas Morrissey, a father of three and grandfather of one, was walking through a Spruce Street parking lot when he tripped, fell and was run over by a 2016 Chevy box truck driven by a 34-year-old Garnerville, NY man just after 4 p.m., Lt. Christian Eldridge said.
Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.
No charges were filed nor summonses issued, Eldridge said.
An investigation was continuing, he said.
Morrissey was in dozens of productions at the Barn Theater in Montville -- mostly acting but also working on the various crews.
"Very sorry to hear about the unexpected passing of Tom Morrissey of the Barn Theatre last night. I never had the good fortune of doing a show with him (We were both cast in 12 Angry Men together, him as Juror #8, the Henry Fonda part, but he dropped out of the show very early on), but I was always happy to see him and chat with him for a few minutes. He was a tremendously talented guy, always in good spirits, and beloved by the NJ theatre community. My deepest condolences to all of family and friends who are hurting today.
"The last time I saw Tom was appropriately enough, at the Barn this past November, when I was dropping off a caricature I did as a closing night gift for the show’s director. Tom was outside having a smoke and greeted me with the usual “Mr. Trumbull.” We had an enjoyable chat for a few minutes, as we always did whenever we ran into each other.
"Even though there were a ton of great performances I could remember him by, that image of him standing outside the back lobby door, serenely smoking a cigarette, illuminated by a spotlight, is how I’m going to remember him. I’d like to think he’s still there in spirit."
~John Trumbull (comedian/cartoonist from Parsippany)
Responders included Eldridge, along with borough police Capt. Keith Sanzari, Sgt. Timothy Keenan, Detective Keith Docwra and Officer Gary Gusterson, along with the Bergen County Prosecutor's Fatal Accident Investigation Unit and the county sheriff’s Bureau of Criminal Identification, which collected evidence.
ALSO SEE: A driver was incinerated after driving around traffic cones and across a downed electric wire Thursday morning in Franklin Lakes, authorities said.
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