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Former Braves player turned police officer was killed by wrong-way driver, officials say

Both drivers died as a result of their injuries.

NEW JERSEY, USA — The New Jersey State Police revealed details about the crash that killed a former Major League Baseball player who retired to become an officer on Sept. 11.

Anthony Varvaro, 37, played parts of six seasons in the majors, including four with the Atlanta Braves before retiring to join the New York/New Jersey Port Authority Police Department in 2016.  

Around 4:25 a.m., on Sunday, Varvaro was traveling on the New Jersey Turnpike Hudson Bay Extension when another car, driven by Henry A. Plazas, was traveling in the wrong direction, the state police told 11Alive. 

Plazas' Toyota Rav4 struck Varvaro's Nissan Maxima head on, causing it to strike a concrete barrier, police said.

Both drivers died as a result of their injuries. 

RELATED: Former Braves pitcher who retired to become police officer dies in crash on way to 9/11 event in NYC

Varvaro was on his way to serve at the World Trade Center Command for a 9/11 event when he was involved in an accident. 

He was assigned to patrol for nearly five years before transferring to the Port Authority Police Academy where he became an instructor, training new recruits into police officers.

"Officer Varvaro represented the very best of this agency, and will be remembered for his courage and commitment to service," the Port Authority said in a statement. "On this solemn occasion as the Port Authority mourns the loss of 84 employees in the attacks on the World Trade Center — including 37 members of the Port Authority Police Department — our grief only deepens today with the passing of Officer Varvaro."

He is survived by his wife, Kerry, and their four children. A GoFundMe page was created to help raise money.

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