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UPDATE: Bergen County Authorities Identify Five Rutherford Fatal Crash Victims


Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella announces that an investigation is being conducted of a motor vehicle crash, which occurred on Sunday in Rutherford.

Officials say the investigation is being conducted by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Fatal Accident Investigation Unit under the direction of Chief Robert Anzilotti and the Rutherford Police Department under the direction of Chief John Russo.

According to police, at 10:43 p.m., Rutherford officers responded to a 9-1-1 call reporting a crash on Route 3 West.

Responding officers found a 2016 Nissan Rogue with severe front end damage in the highway just west of the entrance ramp from Route 17 South.

Five occupants were found in the vehicle, all with grave injuries. Four of the occupants were pronounced dead at the scene. A fifth occupant, a four-year-old child, was briefly resuscitated at the scene but later succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at Hackensack University Medical Center.

The investigation thus far has revealed the following:

A front loader construction vehicle being operated by a 39-year-old male was entering the roadway from the Route 17 South/Service Road entrance ramp.

The operator was returning to the Route 3 construction site after dropping a load at the construction yard.

While traveling west on Route 3, he was struck from behind by the Nissan Rogue. The operator immediately pulled to the side of the road and called 9-1-1.

The deceased have been identified as driver Michelle Toledo, 38, of Paterson and passengers Irvina Gee, 20, of Paterson, Sheckylle Chain, 23, of Paterson, Ayana Navas, 16, (Birthday was just May 5th) of Paterson, and Noah Alexander Dejesus, 4, of Allentown, PA.

The investigation is ongoing at this time.

Prosecutor Musella would like to commend the Rutherford Police Department for its efforts and professionalism in response to this tragic event, and would also like to thank the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office and NJDOT for their assistance.

IMAGES OF: Gee and Chain