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.