By: Richard L. Smith
Authorities in Sussex County are investigating the cause of a deadly head-on wreck that claimed the life of a retired Newark NJ police officer, his two young children, and one other person Friday afternoon in Andover Township.
According to police, it happened around 3:55 p.m. on Newton-Sparta Road.
Police say that Mr. Bruce Cseh, 22, of Blairstown, was driving a 2021 Jeep Rubicon heading westbound when he crossed over the double yellow lines on Newton-Sparta Road.
According to Police, Cseh struck a 2011 Ford Ranger pickup, operated by Retired Newark Police officer Mr. Andrew Benavente, 36 of Newton. The impact of the collision caused Benavente's truck to ignite in flames.
As a result of the violent fiery crash, Benavente, his 13-year-old son, Andrew Jr., and his 5-year-old daughter, Madelyn, perished.
Police said the crash trapped Cseh but emergency responders were able to use a personal vehicle with a chain to pull the Jeep away from the Ford Ranger pickup.
Czech was extricated and flown to a local hospital, where doctors pronounced him dead, police said.
Officials at The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge12 released the following statement:
“It is with deep regret we announce the untimely passing of former P/O Andrew Benavente, who died as the result of an MVA yesterday.
Andrew is the brother of Det. Adelino Benavente and P/O Natalie Benavente, son of retired P/O Adelino Benavente and brother-in-law of P/O Ricky Melendez.
Unfortunately, along with Andrew, his son, AJ, and daughter, Madelyn, also passed away in the accident”.