On Monday, July 22, 2019, at approximately 1:12 pm, members of the Manchester Township Police responded to the area of Route 37 and Alexander Avenue for the report of a multi-vehicle collision in the roadway. Responding officers were informed that there were reports of injuries as well as airbag deployment. The crash occurred in the eastbound lanes of Route 37 adjacent to the Summit Park section of the Township.
Upon arrival, officers located a 2016 Kia Sorrento, a 2002 Mercury Sable, a 2016 Nissan Sentra, a 2007 Toyota Corolla, and a 2001 Ford F-250 all with significant damage in the roadway. The initial investigation revealed that Kia Sorrento was traveling eastbound in the left lane on Route 37 when the driver, 30-year-old, Tara Traendly of Bayville failed to observe the slow moving traffic ahead and rear ended the Mercury Sable. At the time of the crash, the Sable was being operated by 82-year-old Ann Smith of Whiting. After colliding the Sable, Traendly’s vehicle sideswiped the Ford F-250 which was being operated by 58-year-old, Peter Degrazio Jr. of Toms River as it was traveling in the right lane next to her.
The force of the initial rear end collision caused the Mercury Sable to jolt forward and collide with the rear end of the Nissan Sentra which was slowing in traffic. The Sentra was being operated by 71-year-old, James Reid of Whiting. This collision subsequently caused the Sentra to collide with the rear end of the Toyota Corolla which was also slowing in traffic. The driver of the Corolla was identified as 37-year-old, Mary Hunter of Lakehurst. The driver of the Mercury Sable, Ann Smith, sustained multiple lacerations as well as head, neck, and back injuries as a result of the collision and was airlifted to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune for treatment. Also transported to Community Medical Center for treatment of complaints of pain as well as for precautionary measures were two children, ages 2 and 8 months, who were passengers in the Kia Sorrento. Route 37 eastbound was closed for several hours and traffic was diverted while the accident was investigated, the injured were tended to and the scene was cleared.
Assisting at the scene were paramedics from MONOC, EMTs from Quality Medical Transport, medical personnel from Hackensack Meridian Medevac Helicopter Services, and firefighters from the Manchester Volunteer Fire Department. The crash remains under investigation by Patrolman Ian Bole of the department’s Traffic Safety Unit.