The first accident took place at about 1 a.m. at the intersection of Route 1 north at Major Road when a New York Times tractor trailer driven by Alvin Nicholson, 62, of Howell ran into the back of a tanker truck being driven by Edwin Diaz, 49, of Virginia Beach, Virginia. The accident caused a large fuel spill, and required that pesticides from the tanker truck be loaded into another tanker truck. The Monmouth Junction First Aid Squad transported both drivers to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. Nicholson was issued a summons for careless driving.
About 45 minutes after the first crash, 42-year-old Shawn Frasier of Kendall Park drove through the closed road in his Nissan Altima and struck a marked South Brunswick police car that was blocking the highway. Patrolman First Class Mark Lorenc was sitting in the driver’s seat and was injured. Officer Lorenc was taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick by the Monmouth Junction First Aid Squad. Frasier was taken by Kendall Park First Aid Squad to the same hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Officer Lorenc, a 25-year veteran of the police force, was treated for a concussion and back injury. He is resting at home.
A preliminary investigation has found that Frasier was coming home from Park Casino in Pennsylvania and may have fallen asleep. Investigators are still examining if alcohol played a part in the crash. Frasier’s vehicle was traveling at approximately 55 miles per hour when it broadsided the patrol car. Officer Lorenc was blocking the road as part of the detour and to shield the emergency personnel working on the first crash. Other officers were about 75 feet away in the roadway when Officer Lorenc’s patrol car was struck. His patrol car was totaled in the crash. No summonses have been issued yet.
The Monmouth Junction Fire Department, Monmouth Junction First Aid, Middlesex County Hazmat, and New Jersey Department of Transportation responded to the accidents.
Route 1 was reopened at about 6 a.m.