James Diamond, 74, the retired director of Princeton University’s Center for Jewish Life, died as a result of injuries after he was struck while entering a Toyota Prius on Riverside Drive this morning.
Eric Maltz, 20, of Princeton was driving a BMW at a high speed, heading southbound on Riverside Drive, when he hit an unoccupied Toyota Camry that was parked on the northbound side of the road, police said.
The impact with the 2003 BMW pushed the Camry backward almost 1,000 feet down the road, police said. The Prius, which was also parked along the curb line, was pushed along with it, and landed across the street, its back end striking a tree. The Prius was occupied by the driver, Rabbi Robert Freedman, 63, of Princeton.
Diamond was entering the passenger side of the Prius at the time of the collision. He was thrown from car area because of the impact. When police and rescue workers arrived on the scene just after 9:40 a.m., they found him on the ground and he was unresponsive. Liifesaving efforts were started immediately. He died at the scene.
Maltz and Freedman were taken to an area trauma center to be treated for their injuries.
The crash remains under investigation by Patrolman Judd Petrone, with assistance from the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office. The Princeton First Aid & Rescue and Princeton Fire Department assisted at the scene. No charges have been made in the case yet, pending the completion of an initial investigation.
Diamond, beloved by many in the Princeton community, served as the executive director of the Center for Jewish Life at Princeton University for nine years. He was appointed the first full-time director in 1995, two years after the Center’s opening. He retired in 2003, but continued to teach part time at the University. Diamond, a Conservative rabbi, was admired by students and faculty for his efforts to bring different Jewish denominations together at Princeton.
The funeral service for Diamond is scheduled for Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Jewish Center in Princeton. Following the service he will be buried at the Washington Cemetery in Monmouth Junction.