Day: March 21, 2022

Firefighters Combat Stubborn Brush Fire in East Windsor and Monroe Townships

March 21, 2022

EAST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)-MONROE TOWNSHIP (MIDDLESEX)–Firefighters were dispatched to a brush fire behind the 700 block of Twin Rivers Drive North around 4:48 p.m. near the East Windsor and Monroe Township border. East Windsor Fire Company called for Monroe Township Fire Departments and the New Jersey Forrest Fire Service for additional manpower. Additional apparatus from other departments were also dispatched to the scene including East Windsor 42 and Hightstown 41. It appears that the fire extended from Twin Rivers Drive in an easterly direction across 500 feet of woodland behind Krackerjacks Farm Market. A truck refil site was established on Twin Rivers Drive North. Firefighters remained on scene for an extended time mopping up deep seated hot spots. No further information is available at this time.

Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora Calls for Release of Video in Police Shooting

Asks state investigators to make public all body-worn, dashboard, and surveillance cameras

March 21, 2022

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor W. Reed Gusciora today called for the full release of all video footage related to the February police shooting of Jajuan Henderson.

“We stand ready to take action when, procedurally, we have a full understanding of the situation,” Gusciora said. “Today, we are voicing our support for the full public release of any body-camera footage of the incident once the investigation is completed. That includes all body-worn cameras, police dashboard cameras, and surveillance cameras, which should be made public as soon as possible.”

In 2021, the state Attorney General’s Office issued a standing directive requiring video be released once the investigation is “substantially” complete. As per legal procedure, the four Trenton police officers involved in the incident have been placed on administrative leave while the incident is under investigation.

The Attorney General’s Office investigation is being conducted by the Union County Prosecutors Office, not the Mercer County Prosecutors Office, to avoid any appearance of or actual conflict.

“We as a community need to know the truth about this incident,” Gusciora said, “but we have been examining and adjusting the way we provide public safety and law enforcement in this city since the day I took office.”

Police Director Steve Wilson, who was hired in June 2021, has been working alongside Gusciora to reform and improve police activity. Wilson formed a task force to combat violence in the city; met with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to discuss charging gun offenders with federal crimes; and brought in a grant to establish a team of outreach workers to intervene in neighborhood conflicts, prevent retaliation, and provide victim services.

“Our first and last thoughts should be of the residents we are sworn to protect,” Wilson said. “We are using every tool available to us to reshape the tactics and strategies of the Trenton Police Department.”

During his administration, Gusciora has called for the release of police disciplinary information and integrated state training for de-escalation efforts to help take suspects into custody without anyone being harmed.

“Our approach to public safety must address all of the contributing factors that lead to criminal activity, in addition to police reforms,” Gusciora said. “It takes improvements to our schools, fighting blight in our neighborhoods, and creating job opportunities for our residents. This is a ground-up approach.”

DEVELOPING: Reported Fatal Motorcycle Crash Along the D&R Canal State Park Trail in Lawrence Township

March 21, 2022

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Around 3:15 p.m. a 9-1-1 call was received reporting a vehicle crashed into the Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park, canal and was under water. Initial reports for the crash were for several locations including in the Whitehead Road area and Route 1, and behind WaWa near Bakers Basin Road. Lawrence Police, Lawrence Fire Departments, EMS and Capital Health Paramedics entered the trail from several points to try and find the exact location of the crash.

Lawrence Fire Department (Tower 20 crew) found a person on Route 1 waving the fire truck down near Mile Post 4.4 on the North Bound Side of the highway. It was the 9-1-1 caller; a companion who witnessed the motorcycle crash into the canal and pointed to the location of the accident.

The fire crew ran down the embankment toward the reported location and found a person in the water suffering from severe trauma and pulled the person out of water and began CPR. Police, EMS, along with Paramedics were directed to the proper location. The person was rushed to Capital Health Regional Medical Center in critical condition.

A dirt bike type motorcycle was found in the water. Lawrence Township Police had the D&R Canal path blocked off from Whitehead Road to Carnagie Road for the investigation.

MidJersey.News has not been able to officially confirm this was a fatal accident, but all indications are that the person was pronounced at the hospital. Lawrence Police Department and the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office referred press information to the New Jersey State Park Police, were a reporter was told that the public information officer was not available. Information contained in this report is from radio reports and on scene reporting, once official information becomes available the story will be updated.

According to the D&R Canal website: The historic towpath along the main canal from Bakers Basin Road (Trenton) to New Brunswick has a natural surface for hiking, jogging, horseback riding, and biking. From Mulberry Street to Bakers Basin Road, the trail is crushed stone. Horse trailers may be parked in some of the parking areas located along the main canal. The trail along the feeder canal is made of fine textured crushed stone and is for hiking, jogging and biking. No horses are permitted on the feeder canal trail. Motorized vehicles or ATV’s are not permitted on trails in the park.

TTN – Trenton-Mercer Airport Terminal Project Advances

March 21, 2022

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has given Mercer County the green light to move forward with the design and construction of a new passenger terminal at Trenton-Mercer Airport, County Executive Brian M. Hughes announced.

 “This is great news for Trenton-Mercer Airport and the many thousands of travelers who pass through our passenger facility,” Mr. Hughes said. “We appreciate the FAA’s diligence in its review of the Environmental Assessment for the proposed new airport terminal, and we’re pleased that we have the go-ahead to advance this important project.”

The agency issued the Finding of No Significant Impacts and Record of Decision (FONSI/ROD) for the Environmental Assessment (EA) for the proposed new passenger facility at the nearly century-old airport in Ewing Township.

FONSI documents the FAA determination that a proposed action does not have the potential for significant environmental impacts. A FONSI does not represent the FAA’s decision to implement the proposed action. A ROD is issued prior to a proposed action to explain why the FAA approved or did not approve it.

Mercer County proposes replacing the old terminal, which was built in the 1970s, with a modern four-aircraft-gate terminal to be located adjacent to the existing terminal. The purpose of a new terminal is to better accommodate current airport users and to meet forecasted demands to the year 2035. A new terminal would address the needs of all aspects of airport functions such as baggage handling, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint and baggage screening, airline operations, and improved customer comforts such as concessions, waiting areas and restrooms. There is no plan or proposal for new or longer runways, and the airport size would remain exactly as it is today.

“The existing terminal at Trenton-Mercer Airport is about one-third the size it should be for the number of travelers currently using it,” Mr. Hughes said. “As we emerge from the coronavirus crisis, we expect an increasing demand for leisure travel, and nationwide and at Trenton-Mercer, we are seeing airlines adding new flights and reviving old ones.”

The EA process, governed by the FAA, included data collection, development and analysis of alternatives, identification and analysis of environmental impacts of the proposed terminal, and a public participation. The purpose of the EA is to evaluate the potential direct, indirect and cumulative impacts of the terminal project, and to look for ways to minimize or avoid potential environmental impacts. The development of the proposed new terminal was arrived at by analyzing several terminal building alternatives along with a no-action alternative as they relate to environmental, social and economic impacts.

The FONSI/ROD notification will be made public along with copies of the EA. The posting of the notification and EA documents upon receipt by the FAA will be posted on the terminal project website, The FONSI/ROD notification will be advertised in local newspapers, and will be posted on social media and the Mercer County website,

Two Residents Suffer Severe Burns in Structure Fire, Three Firefighters and One Police Officer Also Injured in Toms River

March 21, 2022

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–On Sunday, March 20, 2022, at approximately 9:45 PM multiple police units, fire companies, and EMTs were dispatched to Mt. Everest Lane for a reported structure fire. First responders located two victims unconscious inside the residence. Both victims suffered severe burns and were flown to Barnabas Burn Center in Livingston for treatment.

Three firemen and one police officer received treatment for minor injuries sustained during the fire. The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Officer and Ocean County Sheriff CSI also assisted at the scene.
When leaving the house fire on Mt. Everest Lane, Officer Manolio was driving in the area and observed heavy smoke, he circled the neighborhood and observed a fire on Mt. Juliano Lane. At the same time dispatch had received a 9-1-1 call regarding the second fire. Upon arrival, officers were advised that all occupants of the home were outside and safe. Due to strong winds, surrounding homes were evacuated as a precaution. The fire department arrived and extinguished the fire without it spreading to surrounding homes. The exterior of a neighboring home sustained some damage, and three vehicles in the homeowner’s driveway were destroyed in the fire. There were no reported injuries at the fire on Mt. Juliano Lane.
The fires remain under investigation by Detective Ryan Parente and Toms River Fire Inspector Kevin Britton.

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on March 20, 2022, at approximately 9:45 p.m., Officers from the Toms River Township Police Department and Toms River Township Fire Department were dispatched to a reported structure fire on Mount Everest Lane.  During the primary search of the residence, two occupants, one male and one female, were discovered.  Due to the extent of their injuries, both occupants were airlifted to the Burn Center at Cooper Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, New Jersey, and are presently listed in critical condition. During the suppression of the fire, three firefighters received minor injuries and were treated at the scene.

The origin and cause of the fire are currently under investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Arson Unit, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Toms River Township Police Department Detective Bureau, and Toms River Township Bureau of Fire Prevention. 

Additional information will be released to the public as it becomes available.

3-Alarm Fire Quickly Extinguished in Millstone Township

March 21, 2022

MILLSTONE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Around 11:00 a.m. multiple 9-1-1 calls were received about a garage fire in the 1st Block of Hamton Hollow Drive. Fire Officers also reported seeing a large column of smoke in the sky at the same time and called for 2nd alarm on arrival. First arriving firefighters found a 2-story home with a garage fully involved that was extending to the rest of the home. Firefighters quickly pulled a 2 1/2″ hand line as well as several 1 3/4″ handlines and quickly went to work knocking down the fire in minutes keeping fire from consuming the entire home. The fire went to 3-Alarms before being brought under control, about a 1/2 hour after initial dispatch. Investigation crews from the Monmouth County Fire Marshal’s Office are still on scene investigating the cause of the fire.

Fire Departments responding were: Millstone Township, Monroe Township, Robbinsville, Hightstown, Hope Fire Company of Allentown-Upper Freehold, Manalapan, Plumsted Township-New Egypt, Freehold Township and others. Capital Health Allentown EMS responded to the scene for EMS and monitoring. New Jersey State Police were also on scene.

The investigation is still active and crews are still on scene at the time of this report.

No further information is available at this time.