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Cops: Drunk Driver Jumped Curbs, Took Down Traffic Lights Before Truck Caught Fire


Toms River officials were busy Monday clearing an accident scene on Route 37 that resulted in a significant amount of property damage including downed traffic lights.

According to police spokeswoman Jillian Messina, multiple units responded to a traffic crash located at Route 37 E and Peter Avenue at 3:41 a.m. Monday morning. Upon arrival, Kristofer I. Coltenback, 43 of Manchester, was found standing outside of his Ford Explorer which was on fire in the roadway. He was later charged with driving while intoxicated among other offenses.


According to police, Coltenback was traveling westbound on Route 37 approaching the intersection with Peter Avenue when he swerved to the left and struck the curbed median which separates westbound and eastbound traffic. After striking the median, he continued traveling westbound on top of the median before striking and knocking down a traffic signal.

Coltenback, police said, then continued westbound through the intersection, striking a second curbed median and a second traffic signal. The impact from striking the second traffic signal then sent his vehicle across the eastbound lanes of traffic on Route 37.

Coltenback then struck another curb and traveled across an area of grass, before coming to a stop in the exit ramp for Batchelor Avenue off of Route 37 eastbound, police said.

As a result of the crash, two traffic light poles were laying on the ground in the intersection and the vehicle was engulfed in fire and destroyed.

The fire was contained and extinguished by Toms River Fire Companies 1 and 2.

Coltenback was issued summonses for DWI, Driving on a Revoked License, Reckless Driving, Failure to Maintain Lane, and Violation of Governor’s Executive Order Non-Essential Travel approved by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office. His vehicle was impounded.

The accident is being investigated by Traffic Safety Officer, PJ Gambardella.