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Ongoing Investigation into Double Fatal Motor Vehicle Crashes in Somerset County

Somerset County

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By: Richard L. Smith 

Somerset County Prosecutor John P. McDonald has announced a continuing investigation into two separate double fatal motor vehicle accidents that took place in Manville and Franklin Township, Somerset County. 

Officials said on Friday, August 25, 2023, at approximately 1:27 p.m., Manville Police responded to a three-car motor vehicle collision at the junction of Main Street and Dukes Parkway East in Manville.

Emergency Medical personnel, together with responding officers, initiated life-saving efforts on the involved individuals.

A 75-year-old female resident of Manville operating a 2022 Chevrolet Traverse was transported to a local hospital via ambulance, where she was pronounced deceased.

A 52-year-old male from East Newark, N.J., driving a 2018 Mercedes Benz C300, was airlifted to an area trauma center and pronounced dead.

The driver of the third vehicle, a 74-year-old Manville resident operating a 2006 Honda Pilot, sustained minor injuries and is expected to recover.

Investigations have indicated that the Chevrolet Traverse was proceeding northbound on Main Street in the right lane and disregarded a red traffic signal, colliding with the eastbound 2018 Mercedes Benz C300 as it entered the shopping center on the northbound side.

The Mercedes then struck the westbound 2006 Honda Pilot as it turned left to head south on Main Street.

The Manville Borough Police Department, the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Collision Analysis Reconstruction Team, and detectives were dispatched to investigate.

The circumstances leading to the fatal collision are being examined by authorities and the New Jersey Northern Regional Medical Examiner’s Office.

According to police, on Sunday, August 27, 2023, around 6:22 a.m., Franklin Township Police responded to a single-car motor vehicle crash on Somerset Street (Route 27) near Voorhees Avenue in Somerset.

First responders and Emergency Medical personnel initiated life-saving measures upon arrival.

The 29-year-old male operator of a 2007 Audi Q7, a Somerset resident, was taken to an area trauma center via ambulance for undisclosed injuries and is expected to recover.

The vehicle carried three passengers:

- A 29-year-old male, Highland Park resident, in the front seat sustained minor injuries and refused medical attention.

- A 24-year-old male Somerset resident, in the right rear seat was ejected during the crash, suffering fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene.

- A 20-year-old male, a North Brunswick resident, in the left rear seat, was trapped and required extrication. He sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene.

The investigation found that the Audi Q7 was traveling southbound on Somerset Street when it left the road, striking trees, lamp posts, and a utility pole before stopping.

Franklin Township Patrol Officers, Traffic Safety Officers, the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Collision Analysis Reconstruction Team (CART), and the Major Crimes Unit responded to conduct the investigation.

As the Labor Day weekend approaches, Prosecutor McDonald emphasizes the need for heightened vigilance and caution on New Jersey roadways, underscoring the priority of public safety.