The initial accident was reported on Dec. 25 at approximately 10:38 am, when police and medical units were dispatched to the intersection of Highland Parkway and Herflicker Boulevard for a man lying in the roadway. Responding officers located the victim, later identified as Keith Elliott, 45, of Messenger Street in Toms River. Elliott was deceased and no lifesaving efforts were able to be performed.
It was believed that Elliott was on his way to catch a bus to Lacey Township to spend Christmas with his family.
Police returned to the scene of the accident the following day to continue the investigation and observe traffic near the time of the incident. At approximately 10:15 a.m., about the time the crash occurred, a NJ Transit bus traveling north on Highland Parkway made a right turn onto Herflicker Blvd., said Al Della Fave, spokesman for the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.
The bus was stopped and its driver questioned as to its possible involvement regarding the prior day’s accident, Della Fave said. The partnering detectives found that the driver, Wilford Anderson Jr., 60, of Sicklerville, NJ, had worked the previous day and while operating a different bus, did in fact turn onto Herflicker Blvd. after exiting the bus terminal.
They also found that Anderson did encounter a pedestrian near the area of the crash walking south towards the bus terminal who was trying to wave him down and board the bus. Anderson told the detectives he stopped the bus and allowed the pedestrian to cross in front of him while gesturing to him that he cannot board the bus.
Anderson believed the pedestrian continued walking away from the bus toward the terminal as he made his turn onto Herflicker Blvd to continue his route, said Della Fave.
Detectives would later secure video footage confirming the involvement of Mr. Anderson’s bus in the accident, police said. An examination of the bus Anderson was operating at the time of the accident provided additional evidence that Elliott was indeed struck by Anderson’s bus.
Interviews of Anderson, as well as bus passengers, indicated that they allege they were not aware that Elliott had been struck.
No charges have been filed in the investigation is continuing.