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Woman, 71, Dies in Crash at Route 70 and Massachusetts

Police said driver flees after turning head-on into victim's truck

A 71 year-old woman passenger died from injuries after a van turned head-on into a pick-up truck on Route 70 Saturday evening. The driver of the van fled on foot and is now in police custody, officials said.

Michael Mastronardy has not released the names of the victims, or the driver of the second vehicle. He said that shortly after 7 p.m. Saturday, a pick-up truck heading westbound on Route 70 struck a van that was making a turn from Route 70 east onto Massachusetts northbound.

The driver of the van, a 28 year-old Lakewood man, hopped out of the van and ran north. Canine police found him in the ensuing manhunt on Massachusetts Avenue. Mastronardy said the man is in custody at police headquarters as part of an ongoing investigation.

The 71 year old Toms River woman was a passenger in the pickup and was pronounced dead after being transported to Kimball Medical Center.  The male driver was airlifted to Jersey Shore Trauma Center and is in serious condition, Mastronardy said. The driver of the van was not injured.

With the area on the border of Lakewood and Toms River, multiple towns and county personnel were called to assist with the accident and manhunt. Lakewood officer Ed Vega found the driver after he ran north up Massachusetts, Mastronardy said.

At that intersection, both sides of Route 70 have two lanes of traffic and a turning lane to head onto Massachusetts Avenue, which is also county road 637. Mastronardy said it's unclear if the pick-up was in the right or middle lane of traffic when the collission happened.

"The impact sent them out of the traffic pattern," he said. "We're still investigating, still reconstructing what went down."

At 1 a.m., the driver of the van was still at police headquarters, Mastronardy said.

Route 70 westbound was closed for three hours. The New Jersey Department of Transportation assisted with traffic control.

responded for extrication of the victims.

Traffic Safety Officer Steven Schwartz is investigating along with the and the .

The fatality was less than a mile from a in March, where a teenager died trying to cross Route 70 near Whitesville Road, when a westbound vehicle struck the man.

"People don't realize just how busy this north part of town is," Mastronardy said.

Catherine Galioto (Editor) December 18, 2011 at 11:47 AM
This is an update to this previous article: http://tomsriver.patch.com/articles/three-injured-in-route-70-crash
David Daur December 18, 2011 at 12:26 PM
What is with all the hit and run accidents lately? Only a matter of time before this story reads that it was an illegal immigrant with no drivers license from Lakewood. Pay attention to how many Pennsylvania plates are running around Lakewood with Mexicans in the cars. Why don't the police crack down on these cars? I guess they'd be crying foul for racial profiling then. What a shame! How sad.
. December 18, 2011 at 12:57 PM
A hit and run usually means there was something illegal about the driver. Either drunk, no license, stolen vehicle etc. It is a shame they always kill someone else and they are able to flee the scene. Glad that they caught the low life.
Brian December 18, 2011 at 03:27 PM
Seems odd that Lakewood wont release the name of the driver, even though he is being held. The town is either embarrassed bc it is yet ANOTHER illegal immigrant causing trouble, or bc it was a Jewish man and he is being protected. Either way, please follow up on this article. Lakewood seems to cause problems for all the towns that surround it.
Brian Fitzpatrick December 18, 2011 at 06:13 PM
As a Paramedic and Firefighter who has been to more accidents than I can count, I would counsel the gentleman who seems to believe that the majority of these accidents are caused by Mexicans in cars with Pennsylvania plates. While later versions of this article do indeed indicate that the driver of the other car is being detained by the Immigration authorities, there are plenty of Americans out there (and a lot of them are driving cars with New Jersey plates) who cannot safely operate a motor vehicle, either.
Steve Domanski December 18, 2011 at 07:50 PM
very,very good call.If this is that plane to see,I think this is or has been a real problem !!!! Again "GOOD CALL"
Donna Collins December 18, 2011 at 10:25 PM
Enough,..... it will never change unfortunatly. The bottom line is the life of an extremely wonderful & careing lady has been taken from her loving husband, daughter, & family. I am wishing Carol's husband a speedy recovery.
lorrie December 19, 2011 at 03:57 AM
Mrs. Jeanee u will be truely missed by us still here but now u r with ur daughter, ur son and ur best friend Rosie and best of all Jesus! Love u Jeannie. RIP Lorrie
Dee December 20, 2011 at 03:03 AM
I pray for this poor family who has lost a loved one and still may lose another and for this poor man who has lost his wife!So sad right before Christmas,No matter who the man that cause it was he still was driving under the influence and should be punished ppl do not think idk what this world is coming too but its truely VERY sad!
disgusted homeowner December 23, 2011 at 03:53 PM
All the illegals get Pennsylvania plates because it's so easy ad very little documentation or even proof of where they are living is needed in Pa. They could never get NJ plates that easily. Almost 100 percent of the time the plates have expired and of course they have no insurance. PA needs to tighten up their rules for licenses and registrations.......
Danny Rosen December 31, 2011 at 04:45 PM
To Brian Fitzpatrick When no name is given, 99% it's not a white person. Driver was not jewish. Accident accured about 7pm. Lakewood jews dont drive at this time on fridays. I detect some bigotry in your comment. Danny
Brian Fitzpatrick December 31, 2011 at 11:17 PM
Mr. Rosen, my comment had (and always will) my last name attached to it. The other Brian is someone else. You might want to check again before responding to comments. Or invest in a good optometrist.
Anthony Abramson February 02, 2012 at 03:56 PM
ty all for commenting on this car wreck about my mother Jean. We are all trying to move on but it is hard as i am sure some of you can see. The guy that did this is still in jail and will never see the light of day. There is a lot of things and people to blame. He is for sure one of them and the company he works for for hiring these kinds of people to work for them and not checking them out. 2 is the drinking and driving there needs to be harder laws on this like the death penalty. If for any reason at all you take a life then your life should be taken as well. My father is doing better he is out of the hospital and is at home. He is still trying to walk and it is hard for him. So all we can do at this time is pray for my family and that this guy never ever gets to do this to someone else again! ty mom I love and miss you more and more everyday. It is getting harder to say good bye. but I know it is not forever as we will all see you again in heaven. but until that day comes you will always be in my heart and will never be forgotten. So sleep well with the Angels as you are one yourself now! amen
Anthony Abramson February 02, 2012 at 03:57 PM
ty all for commenting on this car wreck about my mother Jean. We are all trying to move on but it is hard as i am sure some of you can see. The guy that did this is still in jail and will never see the light of day. There is a lot of things and people to blame. He is for sure one of them and the company he works for for hiring these kinds of people to work for them and not checking them out. 2 is the drinking and driving there needs to be harder laws on this like the death penalty. If for any reason at all you take a life then your life should be taken as well. My father is doing better he is out of the hospital and is at home. He is still trying to walk and it is hard for him. So all we can do at this time is pray for my family and that this guy never ever gets to do this to someone else again! ty mom I love and miss you more and more everyday. It is getting harder to say good bye. but I know it is not forever as we will all see you again in heaven. but until that day comes you will always be in my heart and will never be forgotten. So sleep well with the Angels as you are one yourself now! amen
Anthony Abramson March 25, 2013 at 03:50 AM
Woman, 71, Dies in Crash at Route 70 and Massachusetts date was dec.17,2011 Toms River Nj Hear is the update on what happen to the guy Abel Hernandz Please be advised that on March 15,2013 Abel Hernandz was sentenced to 7 years in the state prison by the honorable James M Blaney. This is no way good enough for killing my mother Drunk Drivers need to serve more life or death I say if you kill someone but wanted to give you a update. as I said i would.
Anthony Abramson March 25, 2013 at 03:51 AM
Woman, 71, Dies in Crash at Route 70 and Massachusetts date was dec.17,2011 Toms River Nj Hear is the update on what happen to the guy Abel Hernandz Please be advised that on March 15,2013 Abel Hernandz was sentenced to 7 years in the state prison by the honorable James M Blaney. This is no way good enough for killing my mother Drunk Drivers need to serve more life or death I say if you kill someone but wanted to give you a update. as I said i would.
Lydia Rios August 29, 2013 at 12:33 AM
Anthony im so sorry about the lose of Aunt Jean but I have to say this 7yrs for the death of a person while you were intoxicated and operating a vehicle what the heck is wrong with our judicial system where are the politicans......people do less and get more time and you take a life and you only get 7yrs my aunts and your moms life is and was worth more then 7yrs.......people need to do their jobs better and get the maxium sentence for taking a life no matter how that life is or was taken.......

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