TOMS RIVER — A veteran NJ Transit driver didn't realize he hit a pedestrian on Christmas Day, authorities say.

Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato said Keith Elliott, 45, of Toms River was found lying dead in the road at the intersection of Highland Parkway and Herflicker Boulevard. Police said Elliot was likely headed to the Toms River bus terminal for a ride to Lacey to spend Christmas Day with his family.

As Toms River Police continued their investigation the next day, they interviewed NJ Transit driver Wilford Anderson Jr., 60, of Sicklerville, who passed through the intersection around the same time of the incident, Coronato said.

Anderson, a 22-year veteran driver, told police he waved off a man who walked toward the bus on Christmas Day and gestured that he wanted to get on board. Anderson told police he thought Elliot continued walking away after Anderson stopped to allow Elliot to cross in front, Coronato said.

Anderson's account of events was confirmed by the bus' video footage as well as an examination of the bus, Coronato said. Passengers told investigators they were also unaware Elliot had been hit.

Coronado said no charges have been filed.

NJ Transit spokeswoman Nancy Snyder said Anderson "remains out of service pending a through internal investigation." She would not comment on Anderson's safety record.

According to his obituary, Elliott was a graduate of Southern Regional High School and has a son.


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