Prosecutor’s office releases name of adult victim in Route 27 crash in Princeton
Jodi Marcou ,61, of Kendall Park, and a 15-year-old Newark girl both died on Sunday as a result of injuries sustained in a crash on Route 27 in Princeton. The name of the girl is not being released because she is a juvenile. A third juvenile from Newark, age 14, is in critical condition in a Trenton hospital.
According to police, at about 12:40 p.m. on Sunday, the Princeton Police Department was dispatched to a house on the 100 block of Clover Lane after receiving a report of an attempted car theft. The resident had called police and reported that three people attempted to enter his car and steal it from his driveway. The three people were riding around the Littlebrook neighborhood in a 2015 black Jeep Grand Cherokee, which was later determined to be stolen from a home in Pequannock Township. According to police, while officers were on the scene investigating the attempted theft, the Jeep Grand Cherokee was observed traveling west on Clover Lane, followed by a 2015 Land Rover Range Rover that had just been stolen from the driveway of a home on Dodds Lane.
Police said the investigating officer returned to his vehicle and followed behind the Range Rover on Clover Lane. Police said the Jeep Grand Cherokee drove away in an unknown direction. According to police, the driver of the Range Rover suddenly sped up and the officer attempted to conduct a motor vehicle stop. Police said a motor vehicle pursuit ensued but was terminated on Snowden Lane due to the reckless driving of the Range Rover. Police said the Range Rover was last observed driving south on Snowden Lane, and the driver then made a left turn onto Princeton-Kingston Road (Route 27). The Range Rover was later found abandoned in Newark.
According to police, at 1:09 p.m. they were dispatched to Princeton-Kingston Road near Carnegie Drive due to a motor vehicle crash. The preliminary on-scene investigation revealed that the Jeep Grand Cherokee that was being driven by the 15-year-old girl from Newark was traveling east on Princeton-Kingston Road, crossed over the double yellow line, and struck, head on, a 2016 Acura RDX driven by Jodi Marcou, who was traveling west at the time of the crash. Both Marcou and the 15-year-old driver were pronounced dead at the scene. The 14-year-old passenger of the Jeep was transported to the trauma center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton and is in critical condition.
The crash is being investigated by the Princeton Police Department and the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office. Police are asking anyone who witnessed the crash to contact Princeton Police Traffic Safety Bureau supervisor Sergeant Thomas Murray at 609-921-2100, ext. 1879.
On Sunday afternoon at around 1:30, my daughter and I were walking our dog on Clearview Ave. and we witnessed a high speed car chase down our street. It was the Range Rover described above followed by a police car. The speed was incredible and the situation was extremely dangerous. The cars were driving towards Littlebrook from either Tee-Ar or Harrison. The description of a brief car chase from Clover to Snowden makes it sound like it was for only a couple of blocks. This cannot be the case, since the cars were travelling towards Littlebrook when I saw them. I heard that someone that lives on Herrontown Road also witnessed the chase, but I do not know that for sure.
I think a thorough review of what happened during this incident should be made public. In my opinion there was a lack of good judgement on the part of the police which put people in danger. High speed car chases should not be happening on quiet residentials neighborhoods. I did place a call to the Council meeting last night to express my concern and was told that the Town Administrator is looking into it. I send my condolences to the families of the two people that died.
I think you need a reality check, the car was stolen by some worthless punks out of Newark, the police were doing their jobs to catch them, ultimately for Your safety….
How about for the next stolen vehicle, we simply let them get away and reward them with a nice big government check.
It is extremely concerning what is happening in Princeton with a marked deterioration in security in recent months. First came the stolen checks from mailboxes, which weren’t stopped and kept increasing. Then a sequence of car thefts in residential areas.
Princeton residents and taxpayers deserve more information from authorities on what is happening and the plan to firmly stop it.
We need more police, not less. And we need more forceful policing.
The broken windows theory tells us convincingly that if a slow deterioration is not stopped in its tracks, eventually a worse security situation will ensue.
The mayor and the police department need to take this seriously and significantly increase security in Littlebrook and all of Princeton.
@ Concerned Citizen Your comments could be seen as misogynistic.. Martha is trying to help people understand the reality, she is not out of touch with reality.. .and she is saying what a lot of us are thinking.. Clover and Dodds are not that close together … they were driving around town children in broad daylight for a fair amount of time and the police refused to shut this down safely and are documented as refusing to come when a person called them or were unable to…
Nobody’s life is worthless. Nobody. Everybody s life is valuable. All our children are valuable. These deaths -both of these deaths- everyone wants them prevented. Everyone is asking themselves why the police have not safely stopped the stealing that has been going on in this neighborhood for over a year, and why these children were in this situation.
The town council and mayor are too busy lining up locations for three recreational pot shops around Princeton so drugs and crime can be closer to your homes and families. Cannabis Task Force Council meeting to introduce an opt in to pot ordinance with the mayor is November 30th.
I also saw the pursuit as it proceeded west on Franklin Ave (b/n Grover & Tee Ar), which occurred at 1:07pm, and agree it was quite scary. After the initial chase, two police cars (one unmarked) went back-and-forth until it was over (on Franklin, at least) two minutes later. The police vehicles emitted some short warning tones but not full sirens, which I have mixed feelings about. On the one hand, it would have been easier for adults to avoid the commotion with sirens blaring, on the other, such sounds might be more likely to attract children playing in the area to the scene. In hindsight, it is safe to say the police should not have commenced the chase, but given the clear circumstances, I can understand them wanting to at least follow the vehicles and/or trying to locate them. It might take a paradigm shift in strategy – one based on surveillance (which also scares me), rather than the chase – to avoid situations like these in the future. It was disturbing to hear of yet another death today on Rt.1 and Raymond involving a police vehicle. All the deaths are tragic and it is doubtful the young teen driving the vehicle and her 14-yr-old passenger were not under some form of duress to act in such an irrational and dangerous manner.
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