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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.

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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