On Thursday May 17, 2018, at approximately 8:05 pm, Sgt. Robert Sharry of the Manchester Township Police Department was on patrol in the area of Route 37 and Colonial Drive when he was flagged down by two females who stated that they had just been victims of a hit-and-run crash. The two females told Sgt. Sharry that their vehicles, a 2013 BMW and a 2009 Chevrolet Tahoe, were stopped for a red light on Route 37 at the intersection of Colonial Drive when they were both side-swiped on their driver’s sides by a red SUV.
While speaking with two women, Sgt. Sharry observed the suspect vehicle, a red Chevrolet Blazer, fleeing the scene on Route 37 westbound in the direction of Lakehurst Borough. The vehicle was smoking and had heavy front end damage. Sgt. Sharry caught up to the vehicle and attempted to stop it in the area of the Lakehurst Circle. The operator refused his direction to stop and continued traveling westbound through the circle making at least one complete revolution prior to continuing west on Route 70.
While in the circle, the Chevy Blazer struck the curb on both sides of the roadway before proceeding onto Route 70 west. While on Route 70, the vehicle’s passenger’s side struck the wooden guardrail in front of the Lakehurst Diner before coming to a stop. It was at that time that Sgt. Sharry exited his patrol vehicle and ran up to the Blazer. As he approached, the vehicle drove off and continued westbound on Route 70 crossing over the center lane into oncoming traffic. Doing so, forced cars traveling eastbound on Route 70 to leave the travel portion of the roadway in an effort to avoid a head-on collision.
Based on the significant risk to safety of the public, the vehicle was boxed-in on Route 70 west in the area of South Union Avenue in Lakehurst. This low speed police vehicle action successfully brought the Blazer to a stop therefore preventing any possible tragic outcome should the vehicle have been allowed to continue driving down Route 70.
The driver of the Blazer, 30-year-old, Stephanie Smith of Ocean, exhibited significant signs of impairment and was taken into custody without incident. She was transported to police headquarters where she was processed and charged criminally by Ptl. Kyle Rickvalsky with Eluding Police. Additionally, she was issued motor vehicle summonses for driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, failure to maintain lane, leaving the scene of an accident and failure to report a motor vehicle accident. After being processed, Smith was transported to Ocean County Jail.
The Lakehurst Police Department also assisted with this incident.