A Barnegat woman was airlifted to Jersey Shore University Medical Center's Trauma Center after the sports utility vehicle she was driving overturned near Exit 81 late Thursday afternoon, state police said.
Diane M. Navarro, 47, suffered unspecified injuries when the Mercury Mountaineer she was driving went off the Parkway and struck a light pole and came to rest on the exit ramp shortly before 4:30 p.m., according to a press release from the Bass River barracks of the New Jersey State Police. She and her passenger, John Bebel, 48, of Barnegat, both were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash, police said.
Conditions on Navarro and Bebel were not immediately available.
Navarro was extricated from the Mountaineer by firefighters from Toms River Fire Companies Stations 25 and 26, according to Toms River Fire District 1 Chief John H. Lightbody.
Lightbody said Station 26 Fire Chief Jeff Cirz, the first arriving fire officer, found Bebel outside the SUV attempting to help Navarro, who was trapped under it.
The firefighters "performed a lift of the vehicle using air bags, in order to raise the vehicle off of the entrapped victim, and allowing for emergency medical services to access and treat the patient," Lightbody said. Navarro was removed from beneath the vehicle within ten minutes of being dispatched, he said.
Both Navarro and Bebel were treated at the scene initially by the Lacey First Aid Squad, which had just left Community Medical Center after a separate incident, and by Toms River EMS. Bebel was taken to Jersey Shore by Toms River EMS.
Pleasant Plains Fire Company provided an engine to stand-by for the medivac helicopter, said Lightbody, who oversaw the rescue for the fire department.
The northbound lanes of the Parkway were temporarily shut down, state police said. The state police Fatal Investigation and Crime Scene units investigated at the scene. The Ocean County Prosecutor's Office assisted as well.