FREEHOLD – Two adults from Marlboro died after the vehicle they were riding in was rear-ended in a big crash along Route 9 near the Freehold Raceway Mall, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey confirmed late Sunday.

Investigators said around 1:28 p.m., a 74-year-old woman from Manalapan in a 2019 Lexus NX was traveling south on Route 9 when her SUV side-swiped two other vehicles before rear-ending a 2017 Honda CR-V near the intersection with Route 33 westbound.

The CR-V then rear-ended a 2009 purple Scion TC, Linskey said.

Two passengers in the CR-V, a 52-year-old woman and a 61-year-old man, both died, while the driver, a 21-year-old man, also from Marlboro, remained in critical condition on Monday.

The Manalapan driver was also hospitalized with serious injuries, according to the prosecutor.

As of Monday morning, police had not disclosed further details, including whether occupants of the CR-V were related.

Drivers and passengers in the other vehicles involved — including a 2015 black Lexus RX350 and a white 2019 Subaru Crosstrek — were treated for minor injuries.

The Lakewood Scoop had the first images of the crash scene on Sunday.

Anyone who witnessed the crash or who might have information to help the investigation was asked to contact Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Detective Nicolas Logothetis at 800-533-7443, or Freehold Township Police Department Patrolman Justin Nunno at 732-462-7908.

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These are the best hiking spots in New Jersey

A trip to New Jersey doesn't have to be all about the beach. Our state has some incredible trails, waterfalls, and lakes to enjoy.

From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to the hidden gems of New Jersey, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is such a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it's a great workout.

Before you go out on the trails and explore some of our listeners' suggestions, I have some tips on hiking etiquette from the American Hiking Society.

If you are going downhill and run into an uphill hiker, step to the side and give the uphill hiker space. A hiker going uphill has the right of way unless they stop to catch their breath.

Always stay on the trail, you may see side paths, unless they are marked as an official trail, steer clear of them. By going off-trail you may cause damage to the ecosystems around the trail, the plants, and wildlife that live there.

You also do not want to disturb the wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and continue hiking.

Bicyclists should yield to hikers and horses. Hikers should also yield to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you will encounter on the trails in New Jersey.
If you are thinking of bringing your dog on your hike, they should be leashed, and make sure to clean up all pet waste.

Lastly, be mindful of the weather, if the trail is too muddy, it's probably best to save your hike for another day.

I asked our listeners for their suggestions of the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions:

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