Day: February 21, 2023

66-Year-Old New Jersey Man Among Three Dead In Washington State Avalanche

February 21, 2023

WASHINGTON STATE — Sheriff Mike Morrison reports on February 20th, 2023 Deputies were contacted at the CCSO Leavenworth substation about an avalanche that occurred near Colchuck Lake the previous day. The reporting party, a 53-year-old Maryland man reported the group he was with had attempted to climb Colchuck Peak on Sunday February 19th. There were six climbers in that group and the reporting party had stayed at their base camp that day.

The lead climber triggered an avalanche while attempting to climb the Northeast Couloir of Colchuck Peak. Four of the climbers were swept down the couloir approximately 500 feet. Three of the climbers died as a result of trauma sustained in the fall. They were a 60-year-old female from New York, a 66-year-old male from New Jersey, and a 53-year-old male from Connecticut. The fourth climber, a 56-year-old male form New York sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was able to hike back to base camp with the remaining two. They were a 50-year-old male from New York and a 36-year-old male from New Jersey. When they arrived at camp, they sent the reporting party for help.

When Deputies took the report, A SAR coordinator started gathering resources. A total of 22 rescuers responded to the trailhead to assist with this effort. They were from Chelan County Mounty Rescue, Chelan County Volunteer Search and Rescue and ORV unit, Seattle Mountain Rescue, Tacoma Mountain Rescue, and Yakima Mountain Rescue. A group of four from Chelan County Mountain Rescue responded to the lake driven part of the way by the CCVSAR ORV unit. They reached the base camp at approximately 1:30 pm. They were able to determine avalanche conditions were too hazardous to continue to the deceased climbers. They escorted the surviving climbers back to the trailhead.

Rescuers were not sent back in to the scene today due to hazardous conditions. CCSO continues to work with Northwest Avalanche Center to assist in a recover plan.

Colchuck Peak sits at the South end of Colchuck Lake approximately 8 miles South of Leavenworth, WA

From the North West Avalanche Center:

Colchuck Peak, WA

A group of six climbers attempted to climb the Northeast Couloir route on Colchuck Peak. At approximately 1:15pm, while ascending the route, the lead climber triggered a slab avalanche that caught and carried four members of the team approximately 500ft to the base of the climb. Three of the climbers suffered fatal traumatic injuries, and a fourth sustained lower extremity injuries. The remaining climbers attempted to evacuate all individuals but were unsuccessful. Subsequent natural avalanches impacted the accident site in the hours following the event. The Chelan County Sheriff’s office was notified of the accident on Monday, February 20th. Chelan County Mountain Rescue traveled to the site and assisted the injured party member to the trailhead.

Recovery efforts will be ongoing this week as weather and avalanche conditions allow. NWAC is working with Chelan County Sheriff’s office, and will provide updates as more information becomes available.

Moon over Colchuck Peak at sunrise, with Colchuck Glacier at left file photo from Creative Commons ShareAlike  by: Laurel F

NWS Investigates Tornado That Leaves 60 People Homeless And Over 100 Properties Affected

National Weather Service Confirms Tornado In Mercer County, NJ

February 21, 2023

LAWRENCE, WEST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–Around 3:40 p.m. this afternoon (February 21, 2023) the National Weather Service, Mount Holly issued a Tornado Warning for a large portion of Mercer County with the warning stretching in to parts of Monmouth and Middlesex Counties.

Shortly after the Tornado Warning was issued Lawrence Township Police, EMS and Firefighters responded to Quakerbridge Road for a person reported trapped in a car with live wires on the vehicle. Upon arrival the person was able to exit the vehicle unharmed.

Firefighters were quickly diverted into Lawrence Square Village where several buildings were damaged and trees were down throughout the area. At least two dozen units were deemed uninhabitable by Township Officials in Lawrence Township. The Red Cross was called to set up a shelter.

Moments after Lawrence storm damage was reported West Windsor Police started receiving 9-1-1 calls about wires and trees down in the area of Edinburg Road and Conover Roads. Several trees were into homes and wires were down on several streets in the area.

The National Weather Service will be sending survey crews tomorrow to confirm any tornadic activity and a statement will be issued later in the day if indeed it was a tornado that hit the area.

West Windsor Police reported that at 3:44 p.m., numerous calls flooded the Communications Center of WWPD in regard to a significant weather event that was occurring.  The following has transpired: Road Closures (as listed below), Power Lines Down, Trees into Houses.  

     1)  Conover Road–Entire Stretch
     2)  Edinburg Road–From New Village to Old Trenton Road 
     3)  Village Road–From Old Trenton Road to Twp. Line (East Windsor Twp./Robbinsville Twp.)

**Approximately (10) houses damaged by fallen trees

The Emergency Operations Center has been opened.  Chief Garofalo, his command staff, and WW Dept. of Fire & Emergency Services have met.  Stations 43 & 44 have been going door to door to check on affected residences.  Officers have been assisting the community at large with the trees down, road closures, power lines down.  Assume all downed wires are live.  

     Dr. Aderhold, the Superintendent of West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional Schools has been in constant contact with Chief Garofalo.  All buses are accounted for and late buses are on schedule.  Assessments of affected school buildings are ongoing by Dr. Aderhold’s staff. 

     No injuries have been reported from this weather event in West Windsor Township.  Damage assessments are ongoing.  PSEG has staff on the scene.  JCPL has been contacted.  The WW Department of Public Works have been out in force to assist clearing the roadways of downed trees.  The Developments of Dutch Neck Estates (southern portion) and Jefferson Park have seen extensive activity from the event.  More updates to follow.

West Windsor Police Update:

 *Approximately 300 PSEG Customers have affected service
         *Approximately 100-500 JCPL Customers have affected service
**Most PSEG/JCPL Customers due to be restored by 12 am**

          *Roadways should be re-opened by approximately 12 am (exception:  Village Road from Old Trenton Road to South Lane to remain closed until approx. morning rush hour–plan accordingly).
          *No residences sustained structural damage.
          *Approximately (100) properties affected with damage of some sort from debris and/or fallen trees/branches.
          *No injuries were reported to any persons. 

      Chief Garofalo & Chief Lynch wanted to express their gratitude to the following who answered the call for action during this event:

WWPD Communications Center, Command Staff, Patrol Division, Drone Unit, Detective Bureau, & Traffic Unit
WW Division of Fire & Emergency Services
Stations 43/44 & Fire Police
WW Dept. of Public Works
WW Construction Office
American Red Cross
The Media
Community at Large

From Lawrence Township Police, Captain Joseph Lech IV:

At approximately 3:45 pm on February 21, 2023, Lawrence Township, located in Mercer County New Jersey, experienced a severe weather event through the center part of the Township. The areas affected are located along the Route 1 corridor. Hail, and high winds, caused extensive damage to the condominium complex of Lawrence Square Village, commercial buildings, and several vehicles.

The Lawrence Police Department responded to the events with the Lawrence Township Fire Departments and Emergency Services.

Trees were uprooted and knocked over. Utility lines were brought down, causing the closure of Route 1 in both directions, from Interstate 295 to Bakers Basin Road.  Downed trees also caused the closure of Quakerbridge Road, in both directions.  Approximately 60 residents have been displaced. The Red Cross is on scene as well as Volunteers of America, helping to find temporary housing for the displaced residents.

Police Departments and Fire Departments from surrounding agencies within Mercer County responded and assisted with the road closures and scene safety. The extent of the damage and any hazards will be better assessed in the daylight hours.  Residents are reminded to use extreme caution and stay away from any downed wires. Motorists are asked to avoid the area of Quakerbridge Road until the hazards can be addressed. No injuries were reported as a result of the storm damage.

The National Weather Service has been contacted. They are aware of a weather event that entered the Lawrence Township area and they are indicating that it was a possible tornado.

A better assessment may be done during daylight hours, to better define the event. 

Route 1 has been opened to traffic in both directions. Quakerbridge Road remains closed in both directions due to the trees across the road.

 Red Cross and Volunteers of America are on scene and providing assistance for displaced residents. Any resident seeking assistance should contact the Lawrence Police or 1-800 Red Cross.

Mercer County Park Commission:

A tornado touched down in the area of Village Road and Quakerbridge Road around 4 pm today. As seen in photos, it appears to have caused significant damage to homes in the area and to Mercer Oaks West golf course. Thankfully, there were no injuries to golfers or Park Commission staff, additionally there was no damage to buildings. We did however lose many trees primarily on the West course, and as many as 100 trees were downed by this storm.

Our tree crew will begin cleanup in the morning. For tomorrow, Mercer Oaks East course will be open for play, the West course will be closed and remain closed until the cleanup is complete. We expect that will take the remainder of the week and possibly into next week. Detailed information on course closings will be posted on our golf and county website.

We are getting reports from around the county of wind-related damage, downed trees and building damage. Our Mercer County road crews are en route to assist in local clean-ups, and I ask you to please stay off the roadways if possible. Attached is video of damage at Mercer Oaks golf course in West Windsor where thankfully, no one was injured. — Brian M. Hughes, County Executive

*Updates to come as available.

National Weather Service issued a Tornado Warning for the area at the time of the damage. National Weather Service Graphic

Screen grab of the Radar Now application showing the National Weather Service Tornado Warning Box at the time of the storm damage.

Here is a map highlighting where survey crews are expected to survey tomorrow. Details, determination, and any potential damage ratings will be updated late tomorrow via social media and the Public Information Statement on our website as more information becomes available.

The blue line represents the path of destruction from this weather event. From reporters on the ground the destruction starts near Lawrenc Square Village, goes though West Windsor and terminates at the East Windsor/Robbinsville border. Google Maps Image

Manchester School Bus Crash Sends One To Hospital

February 21, 2023

MANCHESTER, NJ (OCEAN)–On February 21, 2023, at approximately 8:01 a.m., Manchester Township Police responded to a motor vehicle crash at the intersection of Commonwealth Boulevard and Beacon Street.  It was reported to responding police officers that the crash involved a Manchester Township School Bus.  Upon arrival, the officers quickly determined that there were no students on the bus at the time of the crash.  The investigation revealed that a 2010 Dodge Caliber, operated by 18-year-old Talia Cotto of Manchester, NJ, was making a left turn from Beacon Street onto Commonwealth Boulevard.    As the Dodge entered the intersection, it was struck by the school bus which was travelling on Westbound on Commonwealth Boulevard.  The operator of the school bus, Caroline Tompkins, 28-year-old from Manchester, NJ, sustained minor injuries and was transported to Community Medical Center for a medical evaluation.  The operator of the Dodge was determined to be at fault in the crash and was issued a motor vehicle summons for careless driving.  Both vehicles sustained heavy damage and were towed from the scene by Priced Rite towing.  This crash is being investigated by Ptl. Anthony Iliadis of the Patrol Division.  Also assisting at the scene were EMTs and Career Firefighters from the Manchester Division of Emergency Services along with members of the Ridgeway and Manchester Volunteer Fire Departments.   

Serious Crash With Entrapment In Manalapan

February 21, 2023

MANALAPAN, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Around 4:10 p.m. Manalapan Police, Fire and EMS were dispatched to Route 33 and Yates Road for a motor vehicle crash with reported heavy entrapment. Upon arrival the Assistant Chief of Manalapan Fire Company confirmed entrapment. Mutual aid was called from Millstone Township Fire Department to assist with the extrication. After the person was extricated from the wreckage they were transported to a local hospital for treatment in an unknown condition. If official information becomes available the story will be updated.

Photos by: Steven Kadir

Two Trenton Brothers Arrested For CURE Arena Murder

February 21, 2023

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri announced today that an investigation conducted by the Mercer County Homicide Task Force and the Trenton Police Department has resulted in the arrest of two brothers for the murder of Khalil Glanton last week at the CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton.

Kareem Finney, 25, and Kahli Finney, 20, both of Trenton, are each charged with first-degree murder and third-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.  The brothers were taken into custody Tuesday afternoon at the Mercer County Criminal Courthouse. The prosecutor’s office will file motions to detain both defendants pending trial.

The fatal stabbing occurred at approximately 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 16, 2023, at the CURE Insurance Arena on Hamilton Avenue where Trenton police officers were working at a basketball tournament at the arena.  Officers requested assistance after a large fight occurred on the main concourse between sections 111 and 112 moments after the game ended.  As officers were attempting to break up the fight, they observed the victim lying on the ground unresponsive with multiple stab wounds to his upper torso.  Glanton, 23, of Trenton, was transported to Capital Health Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

As part of the investigation, multiple videos were reviewed and several witnesses were interviewed.  As a result, Kareem Finney was identified as holding Glanton while his younger brother, Kahli, repeatedly stabbed him.  The investigation also revealed that the Finney brothers had an ongoing dispute with the victim over a female.

The charges are a result of an investigation by the MCHTF and TPD, specifically lead task force Detective Andrew DiStefano.  Anyone with information is asked to contact the MCHTF at (609) 989-6406.

Despite having been charged, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Names of the 2023 Trenton Homicide Victims

  1. 1/16/2023 Donnell Williams, 29, Trenton, Shooting.
  2. 2/12/2023 Stephanie Vil, 34, of Burlington, Shooting.
  3. 2/16/2023 Khalil Glanton, 23, Trenton, Stabbing

30 New Jersey Mayors Call For Immediate Moratorium On All Offshore Wind Activity

February 21, 2023

The alarming number of recent whale deaths has prompted 30 mayors of New Jersey coastal towns to call for immediate moratorium on all offshore wind activity pending a thorough investigation by federal and state authorities. In a letter to federal and state officials, the mayors express their concern about “the unprecedented number of whales that have washed ashore recently.” Copies of the letter have also been sent to President Joe Biden and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy.

Concerns that acoustic surveys related to offshore wind development may be a contributing factor in the 9 recent whale deaths that occurred since early December – more than has ever been recorded in the State of New Jersey in such a short amount of time – have brought strong opposition from local environmental groups and residents. On February 13th, the 9th dead whale in the New Jersey and New York area washed ashore in Manasquan, New Jersey. The US Coast Guard at Barnegat Light has also reported several more dead floating whales off the New Jersey coast, an indication that not all of the whale deaths have been accounted for.

The mayors’ letter emphasizes that “While we are not opposed to clean energy, we are concerned about the impacts these projects may already be having on our environment.” Offshore wind developers have obtained permits for the “incidental taking” of whales, which would typically be illegal under federal law. This could include potential injury to whales, such as damaging their hearing, or by causing behavioral disruptions in feeding and migration. In response to similar concerns, Benjamin Laws, Deputy Chief for the Permits and Conservation Division with the NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources, says that “there is an expectation that the work will impact marine life, including whales.” NOAA and other self- described environmental groups denounce the lack of evidence about the cause for these recent whale deaths and nevertheless encourage the wind industry and Governor Murphy to press on with his plan to install 11.5 GW of offshore wind projects in New Jersey.

The mayors, who represent over 359,168 full-time residents in New Jersey and welcome tens of millions of visitors annually to their beaches and communities, call for an immediate moratorium on all offshore wind activity pending a thorough investigation by federal and state agencies “that confidently determines” the offshore wind activities are not a contributing factor in the recent whale deaths.

The officials represent the communities of Atlantic Highlands, Avon by the Sea, Barnegat Light, Bay Head, Beach Haven, Berkley Township, Brick Township, Brielle, Brigantine, Deal, Harvey Cedars, Linwood, Little Egg Harbor Township, Long Beach Township, Mantoloking, Margate City, North Wildwood, Ocean City, Point Pleasant Borough, Point Pleasant Beach, Sea Girt, Seaside Park, Ship Bottom, Spring Lake, Stafford Township, Stone Harbor, Toms River, Ventnor City, Wildwood, and Wildwood Crest.

Photos and video by: Ryan Mack, Jersey Shore Fire Response

Photos and video by: Ryan Mack, Jersey Shore Fire Response

2 Photos above provided

Photos and video by: Ryan Mack, Jersey Shore Fire Response

Monmouth County Park System Director That Served For 58 Years Passes

February 21, 2023

ALLENTOWN, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Monmouth County Park System Director James ‘Jim’ J. Truncer, 86, of Allentown, NJ. passed away at home on Sunday. He was a US Airforce veteran that served during the Vietnam Era, Jim earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Michigan State University, where he studied Natural Resources Management and has worked for the Monmouth County Park System for over 58 years, a career that he loved. 

The following is a statement from the Monmouth County Board of County Commissioners:

“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of James ‘Jim’ J. Truncer. Jim began his tenure with Monmouth County as a volunteer on the Board of Recreation Commissioners before becoming a park planner with the Planning Board in 1964 and then became the Park System Director in 1965, a position he had been serving in for 58 years, until his passing.

Under Jim’s thoughtful guidance, the Park System expanded from 350 acres on three parks to more than 18,000 acres of park land, which includes 37 parks, six golf courses and 148 miles of trails.

Jim was a true visionary and respected leader. We will always remember Jim’s tireless dedication to the Park System and the people of Monmouth County as his legacy.

While we mourn the loss of a great man, we celebrate Jim’s life and thank him for the incredible impact he has had on the Monmouth County Park System, the County as a whole and every single individual that was fortunate enough to work with him.”

James J. Truncer, 86, of Allentown, passed away on Sunday, February 19, 2023 at his home, surrounded by his family.  Born in Woodbury, NJ, he grew up in the Princeton area before moving to Upper Freehold Twp. in 1952.  A US Airforce veteran serving during the Vietnam Era, Jim earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Michigan State University, where he studied Natural Resources Management and has worked for the Monmouth County Park System for over 58 years, a career that he loved. 

Jim and his wife Ramona, raised their family in Holmdel, later moving back to Allentown 23 years ago.  He was a longtime member of the Allentown Presbyterian Church, where he and his wife were married.   He earned his pilot’s license and loved planes, flying, and aviation.  Jim loved people and enjoyed talking and sharing stories with others.  He was also an avid reader and history buff. 

Son of the late Joseph J. and Ruth Truncer, he was predeceased in 2021 by his wife of 63 years, Ramona Rue Truncer.  Jim is survived by his children, Jim and Melissa Truncer of Newton, MA, and Rebecca and Kent Watkins of Cassatt, SC; his grandchildren, Morgan Truncer, William Truncer, and Seth Watkins, and his sister, Judee Wales and her husband, Tom Watson.

A private burial service was held at the Allentown Presbyterian Cemetery. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Jim’s name to Friends of the Parks at P.O. Box 686, Lincroft, NJ 07738-0686 or at

Arrangements under the direction of Peppler Funeral Home, Allentown.

James ‘Jim’ J. Truncer