Sean D. Conrad
Chief of Police

1033 Weldon Rd
Lake Hopatcong, NJ 07849

973 697 1300 Police HQ
973 697 7230 Main Fax

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Fatal Snowmobile Crash
Release Date: January 07, 2018

IR#:   2018-00713                    


Date of Incident:    January 7, 2018               


Date of Release:       January 7, 2018              


Prepared by:  Detective Joseph Kratzel


Approved by:                                



On January 7, 2018 approximately 1:40am the Jefferson Township Police Department was requested to assist Hopatcong Police Department in attempting to locate a missing subject operating a snow mobile on Lake Hopatcong. 


Approximately 2:30am, Cpl. Seeley, Jefferson Township Police located the missing subject, with the assistance of Jefferson Township Fire Department Company #2 and Jefferson Township OEM.   


Preliminary investigation by PO Williams, Detective Gjelsvik and Detective Sudak, Jefferson Township Police Department, revealed the snow mobile, operated by Brian Petronaci, 39, from Hopatcong Boro, struck a rock in the area of Liffy Island, which is located across from the Lake Forrest Yacht Club, causing his snowmobile to crash into trees. Brian Petronaci was located and pronounced dead at the scene.   


The following agencies assisted in this matter, Hopatcong Boro Police, Jefferson Township Fire Dept. Company #2, Jefferson Rescue Squad, Jefferson Township OEM, Morris County Office of the Medical Examiner, and Morris County Sheriff’s Office CIS.  




Citizens who have information relating to crimes, criminal activity or wanted persons (fugitives) can call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Morris County Crime Stoppers offer the citizens of Morris County direct and easy access to their law enforcement community.  Reward and anonymity are the incentive.  Making Morris County a safer place to live is the benefit!

(973) COP-CALL



Note: All individuals charged with a crime are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law. 


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