South Seaside Park Man Killed in Crash on Route 37 Bridge

South Seaside Park man crashed into disabled vehicle being driven by Brick woman, police say

A driver who hit a disabled vehicle on the J. Stanley Tunney bridge, which carries Route 37 westbound over Barnegat Bay, was killed in the crash that occurred late Sunday afternoon, police said.

Toms River Police Chief Mitch Little said in a statement that Michael Fresak, 83, of the South Seaside Park section of Berkeley Township, struck a disabled Chrysler PT Cruiser on the bridge with his 2013 Hyundai Sonata just after 4 p.m.

The driver of the PT Cruiser, Ashley Bell, 29, of Brick, and her passenger, Meghann Ray, 23, of Jackson, both suffered non-life threatening injuries in the crash and were taken to Community Medical Center.

At the time of the crash, the PT Cruiser was disabled and stopped in the right lane of the bridge, and "for reasons not yet determined," Little said, Fecak failed to observe the broken down car and crashed into it. The force of the crash drove the PT Cruiser into the bridge wall.

Fecak was not wearing his seat belt at the time and suffered serious internal injuries, Little said, and eventually became unconscious and stopped breathing in a Toms River Township ambulance on the way to Jersey Shore University Medical Center. The ambulance was ultimate diverted to Ocean Medical Center in Brick where Fecak succumbed to his injuries, said Little.

The crash is still being investigated by Toms River Police Traffic Safety Officer Mark Nater, Little said, with assistance from the Ocean County Sheriff's Department and the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office. Anyone with information on the crash is being asked to call Nater at 732-349-0150, extension 1336.
grace July 14, 2014 at 01:46 PM
inspection should be brought back. i do agree with @marynary re the way it was done before and the pure laziness of our paid inspectors. it does need to be done for safety reasons..who knows how many accidents with injuries could be avoided if people kept their cars safe and maintained..just sayin 3 bald tires could lead to a tragedy..brakes not working could lead to a tragedy and so on..some people wont do work on their vehicle because they dont even know there are things wrong, if not told to do it they dont..a car is a weapon if not maintained..just an opinion
suz July 14, 2014 at 04:14 PM
@mary ann nobel...yes, I do realize her car was disabled. What I don't get is the 'explanation' of why is still being investigated. Could she have possibly just stopped because she dropped something or what ever? It is possible.
ThudNJ July 14, 2014 at 05:22 PM
I would hate to see the inspection stations come back. Imagine how much the state would loose money wise in re-acquiring the buildings to run the stations. The inspectors in Toms River where the most obnoxious people in Ocean County. Imagine other locations were not much better.
Mary Ann nobol July 14, 2014 at 08:12 PM
Suz... The article clearly says the other vehicle was disabled. As someone else stated, if you break down there is no shoulder. No disrespect to anyone involved, but if the man was paying attention he would have realized the car was disabled and stopped before hitting it. None of us were there so its hard to say anything. A human being isnow ggone and two young women are probably extremely shaken by this. I am pretty sure when there are fatalities it is automatically still under investigation. They have to dot all the i's and cross the t's.
suz July 14, 2014 at 08:15 PM
Point taken Mary Ann...Yes, the car that was hit was disabled, I get it. They are investigating why this care was disabled, which tells me she may not have been? I'm just saying.


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