August 11, 2020 update: According to the Hopewell Township Police the person from yesterday’s water search was found and is ok.
BREAKING NEWS REPORT: From on scene reports, radio reports and witnesses, if and when official information is made available story will be updated.
HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP (MERCER)-LAMBERTVILLE-WEST AMWELL, NJ (HUNTERDON)–A kayak was found unoccupied in the Delaware River just south of the “wing dam” in the rapids located in West Amwell just south of Lambertville around 2:30 pm. Fire and rescue units from both New Jersey and Pennsylvania responded to the scene those included Hopewell Township, Lambertville, West Amwell, in NJ, New Hope, PA and others from the area. Rescue boats searching south of the wing dam launched at Fireman’s Eddy Boat Ramp just off of Route 29 in the D&R Canal State Park.
Units searching by boat reported over the radio finding a “debris field” of items from the kayak but after searching for hours no person was found. Areas north and south of the wing dam were searched.
No other information is available at this time about the search.
MARLBORO, NJ (MONMOUTH)–On Monday, August 10, 2020 at approximately 1:00 pm, the Marlboro Township Police Department received several 911 calls regarding a motor vehicle accident on US Highway 9 southbound in the area of Union Hill Road. The vehicle, a Ford Edge, struck a telephone pole then crashed into a U-Haul truck that was parked in the U-Haul parking lot located at 415 Route 9 South. The telephone pole came down on top of the Ford Edge, trapping the driver inside.
The driver, who has not been identified pending the notification of her family members, was pronounced dead at the scene. The telephone pole that was struck caused other telephone poles near it to lean over the highway and wires to come down. The wires landed on 4 other vehicles, but did not injure anyone in those vehicles.
The wires stretched over both the northbound and southbound lanes of Route 9. As a result, the highway was closed in both directions from Texas Road in Old Bridge Township to Gordons Corner Road in Manalapan Township. The Department of Transportation responded and a detour was set up. JCP&L also responded to the scene and will be on location doing repairs for an extended period of time.
Responding to the crash included members of the Marlboro Township Police Department, New Jersey State Police, Robertsville Fire Department, Morganville First Aid Squad, Marlboro First Aid Squad and Paramedics from Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.
The crash is being investigated by Ptlm. David Stattel of the Marlboro Township Police Traffic and Safety Bureau. Anyone with information about the accident is asked to contact Ptlm. Stattel at (732) 536-0100 ext. 1116 or DStattel@marlboropd.org
NORTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and Director Kenneth P. McCormick of the North Brunswick Police Department announced today that a driver has been charged with causing a serious crash and injuring multiple people in the Township last night.
Christopher L. Mertens, 40, of the Monmouth Junction section of South Brunswick, was arrested and charged today with aggravated assault in the second degree, endangering the welfare of a child in the second degree, assault by auto in the third degree, endangering another person by knowingly engaging in conduct which creates a substantial risk of death in the third degree, three counts of assault by auto in the fourth degree, and obstruction of the administration of law in the fourth degree.
Patrolman Jason Zier of the North Brunswick Police Department and Detective Jonathan Berman of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office determined that on Saturday, August 8, 2020, at approximately 8:50 pm on Route 1 South just south of Route 130, Mertens was driving a 2018 Infiniti Coupe, accompanied by his two young children, traveling on Route 1 South at a high rate of speed while intoxicated. Mertens rear ended a 2003 Chevrolet Blazer causing it to roll over and catch on fire.
The driver of the Blazer, a 19-year old male from Chesterfield, New Jersey was taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, and then was transferred to St. Barnabas Hospital for the burns he sustained in the crash. His passenger, a 21-year-old woman from Suffern, New York was treated and released from Robert Wood Johnson. Mertens’ children were also taken to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital.
The investigation is active and is continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Patrolman Zier of the North Brunswick Police Department at (732) 247-0922 ext. 316, or Detective Berman of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-4328.
As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charges against Mertens are merely accusations and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.