On Tuesday, November 22, 2022, at approximately 10:05 pm, officers from the Manchester Township Police Department responded to the area of County Route 571 and Richard Road in the Ridgeway Section of town to investigate a motor vehicle crash involving an overturned vehicle with an entrapped driver.
Upon arrival, officers observed an overturned 2016 Chevrolet Tahoe and a utility pole which was severed at its base with downed wires. The Chevrolet had sustained extensive damage and was partially suspended by low voltage wires. The investigation revealed that the Chevrolet, a marked Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Department vehicle, was travelling westbound on CR 571 after responding to a call for service. The Chevrolet subsequently drifted off the roadway to the right and struck a utility pole. Following impact, the Chevrolet became airborne before striking the low voltage wires and overturning on its passenger side, sustaining extensive damage to the entire vehicle. The impact with the pole pulled a wire from a nearby residence. The wire ultimately struck the 2017 Sutphen Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Department fire truck which was following the Chevrolet, causing minor damage to the front end.
The driver of the Chevrolet, identified as 43 year old Brian Flanagan of Manchester, was extricated from the vehicle and transported via Medevac helicopter to Jersey Shore University Medical Center for treatment and evaluation of non-life threatening injuries. The driver of the Sutphen, Michael Trimarchi, 53 of Manchester, and the front seat passenger, Stephen Newnom 31 of Manchester, were uninjured in the crash.
Assisting at the scene were members of the Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Department, Manchester Volunteer Fire Department, Whiting Volunteer Fire Department, Pleasant Plains Volunteer Fire Department, Manchester Township Emergency Medical Services, Robert Wood Johnson Paramedics, RWJ Life Flight, and Accurate Towing. The roadway was closed for several hours during the investigation and cleanup.
The investigation into this crash is still on going, however, driver fatigue appears to be the cause of the crash. This crash is being investigated by Ptl. Jesse Hoydis of the department’s Traffic Safety section.