Toms River had a tough weekend, according to a tally of accidents compiled by the police department that led to power outages in various areas of the township and charges filed against some drivers.
Police spokeswoman Jillian Messina said township police responded to 36 accidents between Friday night and Sunday last weekend, some of which were serious. Messina described some of the serious accidents in a report issued Thursday:
Approximately 1:20 p.m.: Police, EMS, and fire units were dispatched to Hooper Avenue, in front of Intermediate East for a reported motor vehicle accident involving a utility pole with live wires on top of the vehicle, causing widespread power outages. Callers reported a female trapped inside the vehicle with difficulty breathing.
Caroline Meehan, 54 of Brick, stated that she was traveling northbound on Hooper Avenue when she had an medical episode, and blacked out prior to the collision. She was transported to Community Medical Center for treatment. JCP&L responded to repair the pole.
Approximately 1:55 p.m.: Police and EMS units were dispatched to the intersection of Main Street and Dayton Avenue for a reported motor vehicle accident involving a bicyclist.
The initial investigation revealed Neal Wallach, 42 of Toms River, was traveling westbound on Dayton Avenue at a “high rate of speed and disregarded the stop sign at the intersection of Main Street and was struck by a vehicle traveling northbound on Main and had the right of way at the intersection,” Messina said.
The collision caused Wallach’s vehicle to roll over and strike a bicyclist, pinning him under the vehicle. The bicyclist sustained serious injuries and was taken to Jersey Shore University Medical Center trauma unit for treatment.
Wallach was transported to Community Medical Center. He was charged with assault by auto, and received summons for reckless driving and disregard of a stop sign. The accident remains under investigation by the Toms River Police Department Traffic Unit and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.
Approximately 2 a.m.: Police units were dispatched to the intersection of Yorkshire Drive and Continental Avenue for a reported accident involving a utility pole and wires down. The initial investigation revealed Kelly Cuthbert, 25 of Toms River, was traveling westbound on Continental Drive and using her cell phone, when her vehicle left the roadway and struck a utility pole.
Cuthbert did not sustain injuries in the crash. She was arrested for driving while intoxicated, and received summons for DWI, careless driving, failing to maintain lane, and a cell phone violation. The accident remains under investigation.
Approximately 1:30 p.m.: Police, EMS, and fire units were dispatched to Inverness Drive for an active structure fire. Toms River fire companies, along with fire companies from Forked River, Bayville, and Lakewood worked together to battle the blaze.
“I would like to take a minute and thank all of the dispatchers, EMS, fire, Class I officers, and patrol officers,” said Chief Mitch Little. “Every day they show up and give their best to our community. Some days are harder than others, and this weekend was a true testament to their dedication, professionalism, and abilities.”
“Everyone did an outstanding job and I am very proud to work among the best of the best!” he said.