On Wednesday June 5, 2024 at approximately 11:24 p.m., officers from the Manchester Township Police Department responded to State Highway 70 near mile marker 34.5 to investigate a motor vehicle crash involving two vehicles that collided head-on.

Upon arrival, officers observed a white 2014 Acura MDX facing west in the eastbound lane of travel. The second vehicle, a 2007 Ford Escape, was facing west in the wood line of the eastbound shoulder. Both vehicles sustained extensive front end damage.  The preliminary investigation revealed that the Acura was traveling westbound, and the Ford was traveling eastbound on State Highway 70.  The Acura then crossed over the centerline in an attempt to pass two vehicles and entered the Ford’s path of travel. Both vehicles attempted to avoid the collision by swerving towards the eastbound shoulder of the roadway. At that time, the front driver side of the Acura impacted the front driver side of the Ford. The force of the crash caused the Ford to rotate clockwise and be redirected into the wood line where the front end impacted a tree.

The operator and sole occupant of the Acura was identified as, 61-year-old, Scott Steward of Browns Mills, NJ. Steward was found to be wearing his seatbelt at the time of the collision and the Acura had front and side airbag deployment. Steward sustained minor injuries resulting from the collision and ultimately refused further medical attention on scene.  The operator and sole occupant of the Ford was identified as, 22-year-old, Jake Fee of East Windsor, NJ. Fee was found to be wearing his seatbelt at the time of the collision and the Ford had front airbag deployment. Fee sustained extensive injuries resulting from the collision and was transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, NJ, where he is currently listed in critical but stable condition.

Assisting at the scene were EMT’s from the Manchester Township Division of Emergency Services, South Toms River First Aid, On-time First Aid, firefighters from Whiting Volunteer Fire Company, Joint Base MDL Fire Company, Robert Wood Johnson Paramedics, as well as, officers from Pemberton Township Police Department and detectives from the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department Crime Scene Investigations Unit. The investigation into this crash is still ongoing, but at this point, driver error while attempting to pass multiple vehicles appears to be the primary contributing factor.  The crash is being investigated by Patrolman Sage Sysol and Patrolman Michael O’Hara of the Manchester Township Traffic Safety Unit.