Investigators, at the scene of a spectacular four-car crash Wednesday on the Black Horse Pike in Egg Harbor Township, cite the driver at the center of it with driving under the influence.

Anthony Palmieri, 37, of Mays Landing, needed the Cardiff Fire Company's Jaws of Life in order to climb out of his 2002 Honda Accord, according to police, who also charged him with reckless driving and careless driving. Three drivers were injured, and the investigation forced the closure of the road for about an hour.

Officers responded at about 4:45 PM. Police said that Palmieri was eastbound on the highway, on the inside lane, came up on traffic stopped in front of him, and failed to stop. The Honda plowed into the back of a 2014 Ford Focus, driven by Aaron Coppens, 29, of Egg Harbor Township. Coppens was at the end of a line of cars waiting out a red signal at Tower Avenue.

The impact sent Coppens's car hurtling toward the grass center median, hitting a 1995 Lexus directly in front of him, driven by Ervin Santiago, 40, of Egg Harbor Township. Palmieri's car, meanwhile, careened into the back of a 2014 Subaru Forester, driven by Gail Hingston, 70, of New York.

Hingston was treated for a head injury on site. Coppens was given first aid and driven to AtlantiCare City Campus for injuries that police described as moderate. Palmieri, whose injuries were also described as moderate, was taken to AtlantiCare Mainland Campus.

Source: Egg Harbor Township Police Dept.

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