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Victims in Fatal Lakewood Township Motor Vehicle Crash Identified

Ocean County

AdBy: Najla Alexander 

Authorities in Ocean County announced that the victims who perished in the motor vehicle crash that occurred in Lakewood Township on October 7, 2023, have been identified as Jayla Ortiz, 23, of Lakewood, Ceasia Jefferson, 24, of Neptune Township, and a 17-year-old male of Lanoka Harbor.

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer reported that on October 7, at approximately 2:20 a.m., officers from the Lakewood Township Police were summoned to the area of New Hampshire Avenue and Cedar Bridge Avenue for a report of a serious motor vehicle crash.

According to officials, an investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office Major Crime Unit-Vehicular Homicide Squad and Lakewood Township Police determined that a 2009 Honda Accord was being operated by Jayla Ortiz.

Officials stated containing passengers Mylani Theibault, 18, of Lakewood, seated in the front passenger seat, Alexis Holloway, 23, of Berkeley Township, Ceasia Jefferson, 24, of Neptune, and a 17-year-old male of Lanoka Harbor, all seated in the rear passenger seat, was traveling eastbound on Cedar Bridge Avenue.

Authorities say Ms. Ortiz failed to stop at a red traffic signal and entered the intersection, striking a 2008 Dodge Truck.

Officials said the impact caused the Dodge Truck to roll over and split in two.

The Honda Accord continued off the roadway and struck a metal traffic signal pole; upon contact with the pole, the Accord likewise broke into two parts, officials say.

"As a result of the crash, Mathew Draheim, 56, of Lakewood, who was the operator of the Dodge Truck, was transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center (JSUMC) in Neptune to be treated for minor injuries. Jayla Ortiz and Ceasia Jefferson were pronounced deceased at the scene. Mylani Theibault, Alexis Holloway, and the 17-year-old male were transported to JSUMC for treatment."

"At the hospital, the 17-year-old male succumbed to his injuries. Mylani Theibault and Alexis Holloway remain hospitalized; Mylani Theibault is currently listed in stable condition. Alexis Holloway is currently listed in critical condition," Prosecutor Billhimer stated.

"This is every parent's worst nightmare. Our thoughts and prayers are with these young men and women, their families, and their friends," Prosecutor Billhimer said.

"The crash remains under investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office Major Crime Unit-Vehicular Homicide Squad and Lakewood Township Police Department," Prosecutor Billhimer concluded.