Van Driver In Route 70 Accident Charged With Vehicular Homicide, DWI
Woman who died was heading home after being involved in a fender bender
The driver of the van involved in the Saturday evening accident at the intersection of Route 70 and Massachusetts Avenue faces a slew of charges, including death by auto, driving under the influence, being an unlicensed driver, reckless driving, and leaving the scene of an injury accident, along with other motor vehicle charges, according to Toms River Police Chief Michael Mastronardy.
The driver was identified as Abel Hernandez, 127 North Oak Avenue, Lakewood. Hernandez is being held in the Ocean County Jail on $175,000 bail set by Judge James Blaney.
Hernandez is also being held on a detainer from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement due to his illegal status, according to police.
Hernandez allegedly fled the van after the accident, running north, but was apprehended within an hour of the accident on Massachusetts Avenue by Lakewood Officer Ed Vega.
The Ocean County Prosecutors Office and Toms River Police identified the victim of last night’s fatal accident as Jean McCarthy, 71, Camino Verde Street, Toms River. She was a passenger in a pickup truck driven by her husband Ed McCarthy, 74, who is in serious condition at Jersey Shore University Hospital in Neptune as a result of the accident, according to police.
Mr. McCarthy’s vehicle was westbound on Route 70 when it was struck head on by the van making a left turn onto Massachusetts from 70 eastbound, according to Mastronardy.
Officer Art Pennell and a Sheriff’s k-9 unit were also brought to the scene to track the driver.
Toms River Police EMS and Silverton First Aid Squads, along with Ridgeway, Manchester and Pleasant Plains Fire companies assisted at the scene.
Mrs. McCarthy had just been involved in a minor accident at Route 9 and Route 70, according to Mastronardy. In that accident Mrs. McCarthy struck the rear of a car that was being operated by a 73-year-old Manchester Township woman who was slowing in traffic. McCarthy's husband came to the scene of that non-injury accident to drive his wife home to their residence a mile down the road. They just left that accident when the fatal accident occurred ¼ mile down the road, said Mastronardy.
Anyone with information can contact Traffic Safety Officer Steven Schwartz at 732-349-0150 ext 1293 or the Ocean County Prosecutors Office at 732-929-2027.