Deadly Memorial Day Weekend on New Jersey Roadways
State Police say preliminary data indicates the number of motor vehicle deaths during this year's Memorial Day weekend was up slightly from last year, with a total of 10 fatalities being reported.
State Police say they had 140 additional troopers patrolling New Jersey roadways looking for drunk and distracted drivers between Friday evening and early Tuesday morning. Despite the additional patrols, however, 10 people were killed in crashes, which is slightly higher than last year's total of nine fatalities during Memorial Day weekend.
According to NJ State Police Sgt. Jeff Flynn, the holiday period, for reporting purposes, began on Friday at 6 p.m. and ended Tuesday morning at 5:59 a.m.
“Last year, nine people were killed during the Memorial Day holiday period as a result of fatal motor vehicle crashes. Five out of the six fatal crashes involved alcohol, drugs, or both," police said in a statement last week.
Flynn said police are still working to determine how many of the 10 fatal crashes this past weekend were drug or alcohol related.
"At this point, all of that is pending," Flynn said Tuesday, adding that in some cases, investigators are still awaiting the results of toxicology reports.
Fatal crashes this past weekend took place on both local and state roadways between north and south Jersey, Flynn said. The locations include:
- Rt. 506 in Belleville;
- Rt. 30 in Absecon;
- Garden State Parkway in Dover;
- Rt. 322 in Folsom;
- Rt. 40 in Pilesgrove;
- County Road 607 in Mount Laurel;
- Highway 67 in Fort Lee;
- Clinton Road in West Milford;
- Rt. 577 in Maplewood; and
- Rt. 202 in Raritan.
“It was one more fatality than what we had the previous year. Our goal was to have zero fatalities over the weekend so we’ll never be satisfied until we have a weekend with no fatal crashes," Flynn said.
One of the crashes involved 48-year-old Wallington firefighter Frank Stetz, who died Sunday night in a crash with an intoxicated 17-year-old on the Garden State Parkway near Toms River, according to a NorthJersey.com report. The 17-year member of the fire department was killed when his motorcycle struck a van driven by the teen, who was later charged with driving while intoxicated.
The fatal crash in Absecon involved a 26-year-old Galloway man who was killed early Saturday by a hit-and-run driver, according to police. The victim, identified as Kyle Marcy, was hit by a dark-colored 2012 Honda Civic just before 4:12 a.m. near the intersection of Routes 30 and 9.
In Pilesgrove Township Baltimore resident Bernarda Kishel, 87, was killed in a crash on the eastbound side of Route 40 when she rear-ended a Ford Ranger truck in her Nissan Altima, state police told NJ Advance Media.
Between May 26 and May 30, roughly 960,100 New Jersey residents were expected to travel 50 miles or more for the holiday according to AAA. This represents a 1.7 percent increase compared to last year, when 944,169 Garden State residents took road trips.