Joseph C. Zadroga, whose lobbying helped deliver health benefits to thousands of emergency workers whose health was impaired by inhaling dust and debris at ground zero after the 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center — although his efforts came too late for his own son, a New York City detective — died on Saturday after being hit by a car in Pomona, N.J. He was 76.
His death was confirmed by his son Joseph F. Zadroga.
Early Saturday afternoon, the elder Mr. Zadroga was visiting his wife at the Bacharach Institute for Rehabilitation. According to the Galloway Township police, he was standing outside his parked car when he was struck by an SUV that apparently accelerated accidentally and pinned him under it. He was pronounced dead at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center.
A retired North Arlington, N.J., police chief, Mr. Zadroga was instrumental in the passage by Congress in 2010 of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which provides federal medical benefits, including monitoring and treatment, to police officers, firefighters and emergency medical workers who became ill as a result of their exposure to the contaminants in the aftermath of the 2001 devastation in Lower Manhattan. Mr. Zadroga and others successfully pushed Congress to reauthorize the legislation in 2015.
The death of his son James was the first death of a public employee that was officially linked by an autopsy to time spent by an emergency worker at ground zero.