Category: South Brunswick

Car Fire Extinguished In South Brunswick

June 17, 2022

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Kendall Park Fire Department and South Brunswick on scene of a car fire on Kory Drive around 9:55 a.m. The fire was quickly extinguished. South Brunswick Police reported no injuries.


SBPD Photos


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Worker Rescued From Machine In South Brunswick

June 17, 2022

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–South Brunswick Police say just after 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 16, 2022, the Monmouth Junction Fire Department, Monmouth Junction First Aid Squad, and South Brunswick Police were dispatched to Loving Pets at 110 Melrich Road for a worker trapped in a machine. First responders arrived to find a 54-year-old female employee with her forearm impaled and trapped in a machine in the production area of the business. The worker was standing on a portable stair when she put her arm into the top of the machine, apparently to clear material inside when a rotating bar moved and she was impaled through her forearm.
 
EMTs and paramedics stabilized the patient while firefighters worked to free her arm. Firefighters first secured the power, then used hand tools to disassemble the section of the machine where the worker’s arm was trapped. After disabling the rotating bar, firefighters used several different powered cutters to remove the bar from the machine to free the worker, which took approximately 45 minutes. EMTs and firefighters placed the employee on a backboard to lower her from the stairs. She was then placed on a stretcher where her arm was packaged for transport to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, where the mixing bar that impaled her arm could be safely removed.
 
Monmouth Junction Fire Chief Scott Smith said, “This was a challenging rescue for first responders. The worker was in an elevated position, so firefighters had to work from ladders to access the top of the machine where her arm was trapped. Due to the construction of the machine and limited access, we had to develop several plans and use a number of different manual and powered tools to free her arm. Everyone did a great job under tough conditions.”


SBPD Photos


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Send photos into MidJersey.News by using the contact form and we will send you the email address to send them. The photos must be your original work and not taken by someone else or to be used without permission from the artist. Gas is +/- $5.00 a gallon and we can’t get to as many things as we would like to so all the help we can get is appreciated. This is a volunteer news site run by journalists as a public service to cover areas of NJ where traditional news agencies ignored.

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Man Crushed to Death in South Brunswick

April 23, 2022

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–South Brunswick Police say that a 37-year-old worker at Empire Marble and Granite was struck and killed by a slab of granite that fell on him Thursday afternoon April 21, 2022 at 3:28 p.m. South Brunswick Police, South Brunswick EMS, and Monmouth Junction Fire Department responded to 5 Chris Ct. First arriving Officers found the man’s coworkers had removed much of the slab off of him. The man died at the scene. Investigators determined workers were moving the slab when it fell backwards onto the man. The victim was from Marlton. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating the accident.


Commuter Van and Uber Driver Crash Injures 6, 1 Critically in South Brunswick

April 5, 2022

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–On Thursday, March 31, 2022 at 10:43 p.m., a crash on Route 130 at Route 522 involving a commuter van and a Honda CRV left several people injured, one critically. The commuter van, a 2022 Chevy Express was transporting workers from nearby LaserShip warehouse to their homes when the crash took place. The van was crossing from Fresh Ponds Road onto Route 522 when it was struck by the Honda being used as an Uber. The Honda was headed south on Route 130 and failed to stop for a red signal. The Honda struck the side of the commuter van and the impact ejected one of the van’s passengers.

The people injured in the commuter van included a 26-year-old male, 42-year-old male, 30-year-old female and 32-year-old male all from Trenton. The two passengers in the Uber, a 49-year-old female and 57-year-old male from Robbinsville were also injured. Multiple EMS units responded to the crash including two ambulances from Kendall Park First Aid, Monroe, Cranbury, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital paramedics and ambulance, and North Brunswick First Aid Squad. The injured were transported to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and Princeton Medical Center.

Portions of the highway were closed for three hours as traffic officers investigated. New Jersey State Department of Transportation set up detours around the crash and assisted with the extensive roadway cleanup.

No charges have been filed as South Brunswick Police Department Traffic Safety Bureau continues to investigate. Anyone who may have witnessed the crash is asked to call police at (732) 329-4646.


Unable to Escape Apartment Fire, Father Drops Son to First Responders Before Jumping Out of Window to Safety

Body camera video from sergeant shows the moment firefighters and police yell “drop the baby” to the Dad in the fire filled apartment.

March 7, 2022

SOUTH BRUNSWICK TOWNSHIP, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–South Brunswick Police reported that at 8:17 a.m. on Monday March 7, 2022 the Monmouth Junction Fire Department was dispatched to Building 1 in the South Ridge Woods apartment complex for a reported structure fire. Within minutes, multiple 9-1-1 calls were received reporting a working fire. Firefighters and police officers arrived to find heavy fire in the rear of the building coming from the second and third floor balconies and starting to spread up the outside of the building into the attic space. Building residents were reporting people still inside the 24-unit building, with the common hallway rapidly filling with smoke. Within minutes, a father and son appeared at a second floor window, unable to escape their apartment. The father broke out the window and dropped his son to first responders below, before jumping out the window himself.
 
Firefighters entered the building to perform primary searches but were forced to exit due to the heavy fire conditions in the rear of the building. The rapidly spreading fire caused the third floor rear balcony and a section of the roof to collapse. Master streams from three aerial fire trucks were used to extinguish the fire.
 
“This was a total team effort to extinguish this fire and ensure all occupants were able to escape,” according to Monmouth Junction Fire Chief Scott Smith. “We were faced with extremely heavy fire conditions immediately on arrival, along with reports of people still inside. Fortunately, all of the occupants were able to escape the fire. If this fire was earlier in the morning when people may have still been asleep, the outcome could have easily been tragic.”
 
Approximately 50 firefighters from Monmouth Junction, Kingston, Kendall Park, Plainsboro, Jamesburg, Monroe, Brookview and North Brunswick #2 responded to the 3-alarm blaze. Firefighters from Old Bridge, Montgomery and Griggstown covered the South Brunswick fire stations during the incident.
 
The fire is under investigation by the South Brunswick Township Fire Safety Bureau. The building is currently uninhabitable until a determination can be made as to whether any of the apartments can be re-occupied. The Red Cross responded to assist those residents displaced by the fire.




NJ Convoy to DC North Route Day 1

March 5, 2022

The New Jersey Convoy to Washington DC started in North Jersey today near Mahwah and proceeded down several highways on their way to New Egypt Speedway for a rally at 6:00 p.m. On Sunday the Convoy will leave New Egypt Speedway and proceed to several highways and meet at Salem County Fairgrounds for a final send off to Washington DC on Monday.

According to NJTruckerConvoy.com In solidarity with our brothers and sisters nationwide in the global Freedom Convoy phenomenon, a peaceful, nonpartisan convoy & event has been planned statewide in New Jersey from March 5th – March 6th, 2022. We Americans love our freedoms and our country. This convoy aims to restore our civil liberties and freedoms. Our goal is to protect the freedom of choice for future generations. It’s not about political parties, but more so, we believe our government has forgotten its place and has no regard for our Founding Fathers’ instructions, The Constitution of the United States of America. We believe that the power of politicians on all sides has been abused. We demand our voices be heard once again. We, The People, of all political affiliations & walks of life, demand the restoration of our democracy and an end to all unconstitutional mandates.





Police and Firefighters Mourn Passing of Lenny Hibbitts, Past Police Lieutenant in South Brunswick and Past Chief of Jamesburg Fire Department

February 18, 2022

SOUTH BRUNSWICK – JAMESBURG, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Police and firefighters in Middlesex County are morning the sudden loss of Lenny Hibbitts who served both South Brunswick Police Department and Jamesburg Fire Department.

Hibbits worked for South Brunswick Police Department for 36 years, and retired with the rank of lieutenant. He also rejoined the Police Department in 2017 as a Class III School Resource Officer. He also was part of a team of South Brunswick officers who responded to New York City immediately after the 9/11 attack.

Past Chief Lenny Hibbitts also served the Jamesburg Fire Department for 27 years entered the fire service in 1995, joined the department in 2000 and became Fire Chief in 2007. He was still a member of the Jamesburg Fire Department when he passed away.


South Brunswick Police Department:

It is with the heaviest of hearts that we mourn the sudden passing of our friend Officer Lenny Hibbitts. The 36-year law enforcement veteran rose through the ranks of the South Brunswick Police Department to become a lieutenant before he retired. He later rejoined the department in 2017 as a Class III school resource officer. In 2001 he had been part of a team of South Brunswick officers sent into New York City to help immediately after the 9/11 attack. In his over three-decade career, he worked in many aspects of the police department including patrol, emergency response team (ERT), evening shift supervisor, traffic bureau supervisor, and school resource officer (SRO). He was known as a quiet leader whose mere presence could calm a scene. His dedication to public service in policing was matched by his commitment to the fire service where he was a firefighter and fire chief in Jamesburg.

Chief Raymond Hayducka said, “Lenny loved being a police officer and serving our community. He was a gentle giant, quiet and resourceful. He knew everybody and everything going on.” The chief added, “If something was happening, Lenny was the person you looked to for information.”

South Brunswick Police ask everyone to keep Officer Hibbitts family and friends in their thoughts and prayers.


Jamesburg Fire Department:

It is with the deepest sorrow that we announce the passing of Ex-Chief Lenny Hibbitts. Lenny joined the fire service in 1995 and went on to serve for 27 years as an active firefighter. He joined our department in 2000 and became Chief in 2007. Lenny remained a member of our company until the day he passed. Along with Lenny’s fire service career, he was also police officer. He worked up through the ranks to Lieutenant of the South Brunswick Police Department where he retired after 35 years. While on the police force, he helped out in New York City after the 9/11 attacks. He later rejoined the department as a Class lll School Resource Officer in 2017. Lenny was a man who lived his life to serve. He will be sincerely missed. Until we meet again Lenny, we will take it from here Chief.



Teens Racing at High Speed, Charged in Jan 20 Edison Crash that Killed 18-Year-Old Passenger Diana Somarriba

February 17, 2022

Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and Chief Thomas Bryan of the Edison Police Department announced today that two individuals have been charged in connection with a fatal crash, which occurred on January 20, 2022.

An investigation by Captain Dominic Masi of the Edison Police Department and Detective Jonathan Berman of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office determined that two vehicles driven by Tyler Dickerson, 18, of South Brunswick and a male juvenile, 17, were involved in a high-speed race that resulted in the juvenile crashing his vehicle into a vacant building, killing Diana Somarriba, 18, of South Brunswick who was the juvenile’s passenger.

Yesterday, the juvenile was arrested and charged with aggravated manslaughter, vehicular homicide, and aggravated assault. The juvenile was released on conditions following a hearing before the Family Court. Dickerson was also arrested and charged with vehicular homicide and aggravated assault. He also was released after a hearing in Superior Court.

The investigation is active and continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Captain Masi of the Edison Police Department at (732) 248- 7400 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 Dickerson and the juvenile are merely accusations and they are presumed innocent until proven guilty.



Hit-n-run Driver Arrested, Bicyclist and Officer Injured in South Brunswick

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–South Brunswick Police Chief Raymond Hayducka announced the arrest of a 41-year-old North Brunswick man in connection to a series of crashes that left a bicyclist and an officer injured Thursday afternoon. “We were very lucky today. When you see the police vehicle and hear from witnesses who saw the bicyclist run over, you realize it is a miracle,” said Chief Hayducka.

The incident began at 1:29 PM when the bicyclist, a 40-year-old East Brunswick man, was riding on Route 522, crossing over Route 130 to Fresh Ponds Road. At the same time, a 2017 Ford passenger van driven by Ankur Khajuriwala age 41 of North Brunswick made a left-hand turn from Route 522 onto Route 130 northbound and ran over the bicyclist. The van never stopped and headed northbound on Route 130. South Brunswick officer, PFC Joseph Marrero, was out of his patrol SUV across the highway and witnessed the bicyclist get struck. PFC Marrero got back in his vehicle and headed Route 130 north attempting to locate the van that had fled. As he headed northbound traffic began to slow and he took evasive action. His SUV left the roadway and hit a berm which sent the vehicle airborne. The SUV then struck a sign and a utility pole before coming to rest in a parking lot.

The Monmouth Junction Fire Department responded to the scene and freed PFC Marrero from the vehicle. South Brunswick EMS and paramedics transported PFC Marrero to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, while Monroe EMS transported the bicyclist to the same hospital. Both the officer and bicyclist were released from the hospital late Thursday evening.

The bicyclist was able to provide officers with a partial license plate of the van that struck him. Police dispatchers were able to isolate the van and determined it came back to Rainbow Home Adult Day Care in Somerset. After making contact with the business, Mr. Khajuriwala returned to the scene. The investigation found that Mr. Khajuriwala knew he struck something and continued to drive northbound. A few minutes later he realized he was headed in the wrong direction and traveled southbound on Route 130 passing both the crash involving the officer and the bicyclist who had been struck. Mr. Khajuriwala was arrested and charged with Endangering an Injured Victim, leaving the scene of an accident, reckless driving, and several other motor vehicle offenses. In addition, Rainbow Home Adult Day Care was cited for having an unregistered vehicle and improperly licensed driver using their vehicle.

South Brunswick Police Sergeant William Merkler is the lead investigator and anyone with information is asked to call him at (732) 329-4646.

Chief Hayducka added, “The bicyclist had amazing composure even after being struck to remember the majority of the license plate number. I am thankful that everyone was released from the hospital, but aggravated at the conduct of the driver who started everything.”

South Brunswick Police would like to thank the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office and Franklin Township Police for all their assistance in the case.


Tragic Crash in Edison Involving Teens from South Brunswick; GoFundMe Set Up for Funeral Expenses

January 21, 2022

EDISON, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and Chief Thomas Bryan of the Edison Police Department announced today that a fatal crash is under investigation.


On January 20, 2022, at 10:25 P.M., authorities responded to the southbound lane of Route 1 in the area of the Fox Road following the report of a crash. Upon their arrival, authorities located Diana Somarriba, 18, of South Brunswick and two teenage males who were the occupants of a vehicle, which had struck a vacant building. Somarriba was transported to a nearby hospital where she was later pronounced dead.

The investigation is active and continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Captain Dominic Masi of the Edison Police Department at (732) 248-7400 or Detective Jonathan Berman of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-4328.


GoFundMe for Diana Somarriba’s Funeral

Diana Somarriba was the most generous, goofy and amazing person. She has always made people laugh no matter what mood she was in. She was in the progress of joining the army and finally getting her goals to an end. Unfortunately she has been in a car accident and passed away early in the morning of January 21, 2022. We are absolutely devastated by Diana’s passing and are struggling to find the funds to cover the cost of the service. Please consider donating if you are able to do so. We are so very grateful for every donation during this difficult time.

https://gofund.me/05d284c2


https://www.gofundme.com/f/hnkd3-dianas-funeral/widget/large/



South Brunswick Man Arrested for Burglary, Possession of CDS, and Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence

January 10, 2022

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–On January 7th at about 9:30 pm, officers responded to Avenue A for a report of a man trying to gain entry to a parked vehicle. The reporting party stated that the man, later identified as Christopher Robinson, 46 years old, from South Brunswick, had pulled up in front of his home, parked blocking his driveway, beeped his horn, and exited his vehicle. Mr. Robinson then walked to the reporting man’s car, which was parked in his driveway, and attempted to enter the car.

When Patrol Officer Bryan Garrison arrived, he located Mr. Robinson still attempting to enter the vehicle. Mr. Robinson made several statements that were rambling and confusing in nature, and would not account for why he was there or why he was trying to enter the vehicle. Mr. Robinson admitted to having consumed alcohol prior to driving to Avenue A.

Patrol Officer First Class Peter Santa placed Mr. Robinson under arrest on suspicion of Attempted Burglary to the motor vehicle and Driving While Under the Influence. On being searched, Mr. Robinson was found to be in possession of 28 Oxycodone tablets. Mr. Robinson was also charged with Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance.

“Mr. Robinson’s actions were erratic, and it was extremely dangerous for him to be operating a motor vehicle in that condition. Luckily, officers were able to arrest him and keep him off the roadways before he hurt someone,” said Chief of Police Raymond J. Hayducka. “We take Driving under the Influence very seriously, and I commend my officers for their actions in keeping the community safe.”

Mr. Robinson was turned over to North Brunswick Police, who had an active warrant for his arrest.


Individual from Plainsboro Identified in Connection with Officer-involved Fatal Collision in South Brunswick

November 16, 2021

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone announced that a pedestrian killed in a collision involving a New Jersey State Police trooper has been identified.

On November 11, 2021, at approximately 5:55 A.M., members of the South Brunswick Police Department responded to the southbound lane of Route 1 near Raymond Road in South Brunswick following a report that a marked New Jersey State Police vehicle was involved in a fatal collision with a male pedestrian. Upon their arrival, authorities located a male pedestrian who was pronounced dead at the scene. Following a notification from the South Brunswick Police, detectives of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office responded and assumed control of the scene.

Based on the continuing investigation, authorities have identified the pedestrian as Donelle Miles, 50, of Plainsboro.

The investigation is active and continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Jonathan Berman of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-4328.


Update: Middlesex Prosecutor Reviewing Fatal Pedestrian Collision Involving A NJ State Trooper On Route 1 In South Brunswick

November 11, 2021

UPDATE: Route 1 has been reopened.

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone announced that a fatal pedestrian collision involving a New Jersey State Police trooper is under review.

This morning, at approximately 5:55 A.M., members of the South Brunswick Police Department responded to the southbound lane of Route 1 near Raymond Road in South Brunswick following a report that a marked New Jersey State Police vehicle was involved in a fatal collision with a male pedestrian. Upon their arrival, authorities located a male pedestrian who was pronounced dead at the scene and whose identity is pending confirmation. Following a notification from the South Brunswick Police, detectives of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office responded and assumed control of the scene.

The investigation is active and continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Jonathan Berman of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-4328.

Earlier MidJersey.News story here:

Traffic Alert: Avoid Route 1 Southbound at Raymond Road – Road Closed Due to Traffic Investigation

UPDATE: Road has been reopened.


November 11, 2021

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Route 1 Southbound at Raymond Road will be closed for the next 6 hours. Avoid the area. Other roadways in the township may be impacted by the Route 1 road closure. Plan alternate routes and leave extra time for your commute.

Around 6:15 a.m. the South Brunswick Police Department responded to a pedestrian struck on Route 1 a short time later the roadway was closed for a traffic investigation.

Pedestrian Struck Monday Morning In South Brunswick

November 10, 2021

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–At 8:11 a.m. on November 8, 2021, South Brunswick Police Department responded to a report of a pedestrian struck on New Road near the Kendall Park Fire House. Upon arrival, responding officers found the victim, a 66 year-old Kendall Park man, injured on the roadway, along with a 2019 Toyota pickup truck and it’s 76 year-old driver, a Princeton Junction man.

The pedestrian was transported to Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center, where he has listed in critical but stable condition.

On speaking with the driver, he stated that he had been traveling eastbound on New Road when he struck the pedestrian, who he stated was in the roadway at the time of the crash. The driver also stated that he was experiencing significant sun glare at the time of the crash.

The crash is still under investigation by the South Brunswick Police Department’s Traffic Safety Bureau. No summonses have been issued. Anyone with information is asked to contact Officer Jesse Blake at (732)329-4646.


15-Year-Old From Newark Driving Stolen Jeep Crosses Double Yellow Line Killing Both Herself And 61-Year-Old Driver From Kendall Park In Head-On-Crash, 14 Year-Old Passenger From Newark In Critical Condition

November 8, 2021 — Updated with official information from Princeton Police Department and Rutgers University:


The School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University is sad to announce the passing of our colleague Jodi Marcou. Jodi joined the school in January of 2018 as a Development Specialist and was a true asset to the school adding great value to the school’s development operation. Jodi was highly regarded by colleagues, donors, and alumni.   

Dean Jonathan Potter expressed his deepest condolences to her family and friends upon hearing of the loss of Jodi saying that words are insufficient to express our deep sorrow for the loss of our colleague.  We express our deepest sympathies and condolences to Jodi’s family and friends.  

PRINCETON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–On November 7, 2021 at 12:40 p.m., the Princeton Police Department was dispatched to a residence on the 100 block of Clover Lane for an attempted motor vehicle theft. The victim reported that three unknown suspects entered his vehicle in an attempt to steal the vehicle, which was parked in the driveway. The suspects were driving a 2015 black Jeep Grand Cherokee, which was later determined to be stolen out of Pequannock Township, NJ.

While Princeton Police were on scene investigating the attempted theft, the Jeep Grand Cherokee was observed traveling west on Clover Lane, followed by a 2015 Land Rover Range Rover. It was reported at that time that the Range Rover was just stolen from a residence on Dodds Lane.

The investigating officer returned to his vehicle and followed behind the Range Rover on Clover Lane. The Jeep Grand Cherokee drove away in an unknown direction.

The Range Rover suddenly accelerated at a high rate of speed and the officer attempted to conduct a motor vehicle stop. A motor vehicle pursuit ensued but was terminated on Snowden Lane due to the reckless driving of the Range Rover. The Range Rover was last observed driving south on Snowden Lane, and made a left turn onto Princeton-Kingston Road. The Range Rover was later found abandoned in Newark, NJ.

At 1:09 p.m., Princeton Police were dispatched to Princeton-Kingston Road in the area of Carnegie Drive for a motor vehicle crash. Preliminary investigation revealed that the Jeep Grand Cherokee, driven by a 15 year old juvenile was traveling east on Princeton-Kingston Road and crossed over the double yellow line and struck head-on a 2016 Acura RDX driven by Jodi Marcou that was traveling west. Marcou and the 15 year old driver were both pronounced dead at the scene. The 14 year old passenger was transported to Capitol Health Regional Medical Center in Princeton, NJ and is in critical condition.

The crash is being investigated by the Princeton Police Department and Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office. PPD is requesting that anybody who witnessed the crash to contact Traffic Safety Bureau supervisor Sergeant Thomas Murray at 609-921-2100 ext. 1879.

An additional press release will follow when new information becomes available.

Vehicle #1

Jodi Marcou (Driver) Kendall Park,, NJ 08088 61 years old (Deceased)

Vehicle #2:

15 year old juvenile (Driver) Newark, NJ (Deceased)

14 year old juvenile (Passenger) Newark, NJ


South Brunswick man sentenced in North Brunswick serious crash

October 30, 2021

NORTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and Chief Joseph Battaglia of the North Brunswick Police Department announce today that a man has been sentenced for his role in causing a serious crash that left multiple people injured on August 8, 2020.

An investigation by Patrolman Jason Zier of the North Brunswick Police Department and Detective Jonathan Berman of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office determined that on August 8, 2020, at approximately 8:50 pm Christopher L. Mertens, 42, of Monmouth Junction was driving while intoxicated. The investigation determined Mertens, accompanied by his two young children, was travelling southbound on Route 1 at a high speed when he rear ended a 2003 Chevrolet Blazer causing it to roll over and catch on fire.

The driver of the Blazer, a nineteen-year-old man, sustained burn injuries and was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. The sole passenger of the Blazer, a twenty-one-year-old woman, along with Mertens’ children were also transported from the scene for medical treatment.

On August 9, 2020, Mertens was arrested and charged with second- degree aggravated assault, second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, third-degree assault by auto, third-degree endangering another person by knowingly engaging in conduct which creates a substantial risk of death, three counts of fourth-degree assault by auto, and fourth-degree obstruction.

On October 27, 2021, following sentencing arguments from Assistant Prosecutor Keith Abrams and Assistant Prosecutor Kaitlyn Poggi, the Honorable Craig Corson, J.S.C. sentenced Mertens to eleven years in state prison on one count of second-degree aggravated assault, two counts of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, one count of third-degree aggravated assault, and one count of fourth-degree causing serious bodily injury. Mertens must serve 85% of his sentence, approximately nine-and-a- half years, before he is eligible for parole. Upon his release, Mertens will be subject to an eight-year loss of license.


Overturned Truck On Broadway Road In South Brunswick

October 21, 2021

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–South Brunswick Police, Fire Departments and EMS responded to Broadway Road for an overturned dump truck at the curve around 9:00 a.m. Initially there was reported entrapment but the driver was able to self extricate. There were no injuries reported in the crash. The roadway was closed until the dump truck could up righted and towed away. South Brunswick Police are investigating.


Aggravated Sexual Assault Suspect Being Sought; Similar Incident In Duke Island Park, Bridgewater

October 19, 2021

PLAINSBORO-SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone, Chief Fred Tavener of the Plainsboro Police Department, and Chief Raymond Hayducka of the South Brunswick Police Department announce authorities are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying an individual believed to be involved in an aggravated sexual assault that occurred in the area of Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park on the border of Plainsboro and South Brunswick Townships.

A joint investigation has determined that on September 28, 2021 between 4:30 P.M. and 5:00 P.M., an adult woman was walking on a path adjacent to the canal where she was approached by a male armed with a weapon and moved to a secondary location on the Plainsboro-South Brunswick border where she was sexually assaulted.

The suspect is described as a Hispanic male, age range of 40’s-50’s, approximately 5’5” – 5’6” tall, wearing dark colored clothing and a dark baseball cap. The individual is believed to have been riding a bike.

This incident has similarities to a sexual assault that occurred in Duke Island Park in Bridgewater Township, Somerset County on Sunday evening, July 18, 2021.


Marlboro Man Charged With Vehicular Homicide In South Brunswick Crash

October 18, 2021

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and Chief Raymond Hayducka of the South Brunswick Police Department announced today that a man has been charged in connection with a fatal crash in South Brunswick.

At approximately 4:35 A.M., on September 19, 2021, South Brunswick police officers responded to the area of Major Road following the report of a single-car motor vehicle crash. An investigation by Officer William Beard of the South Brunswick Police Department and Detective Jonathan Berman of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office determined Antonino Ferlita, 22, of Marlboro was driving a 2002 Ford F-350 on Major Road when he left his lane of travel, overturned the truck, and struck a tree. The sole passenger of the vehicle, Gerald Pellak, III, 22, of Dayton, died at the scene.

Today, Antonino Ferlita was charged with one count of second-degree vehicular homicide, driving while intoxicated, and other motor vehicle offenses.

The investigation is active and is continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Officer Beard of the South Brunswick Police Department at (732) 329-4000 ext. 4646, 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 Ferlita are merely accusations and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.


Two Serious Crashes Under Investigation In South Brunswick

October 8, 2021

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–South Brunswick Police continue to investigate two serious crashes in the past 48 hours that critically injured one person and left two other people with serious injuries. Both crashes occurred less than a mile from each other in the Dayton section of the Township.

The first crash took place on Wednesday, October 6th at 8:53 pm at the intersection of Stults Road at Herrod Boulevard. A 28-year-old East Brunswick man operating a 2005 Suzuki motorcycle was traveling eastbound when he attempted to pass a 2014 Nissan, operated by a 35-year-old Somerset man, in a no-passing zone. While the Suzuki was passing the Nissan, the Nissan attempted to make a left turn onto Herrod Boulevard and struck the motorcycle, causing it to lose control and strike a utility pole. The East Brunswick man was taken by South Brunswick EMS and paramedics to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick. He was listed in critical condition.

The second crash took place on Thursday, October 7th at 10:14 pm on Route 130 in the area on Stults Road. A 24-year-old Cinnaminson woman operating a 2010 Kia was traveling northbound on Route 130 when she attempted to make an illegal U-turn across the grass divider. When the Kia crossed into the southbound lanes of Route 130, it was struck by a 2003 Ford operated by a 42-year-old man from Browns Mills who was unable to stop in time. The crash caused both vehicles to catch fire, and both were engulfed in flames by the time the Monmouth Junction Fire Department arrived. The driver of the Ford received burns and lacerations to his arms and head. The driver of the Kia received a head injury. Both were transported by EMS to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick with serious injuries not believed to be life-threatening.

Both crashes are still under investigation, and anyone with additional information is asked to call the South Brunswick Police Department at (732)329-4646. 


Police Release Composite Photograph Of Aggravated Sexual Assault Suspect, That Occurred At The Delaware And Raritan Canal State Park On Border Of Plainsboro And South Brunswick

October 1, 2021

PLAINSBORO, SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone, Chief Fred Tavener of the Plainsboro Police Department, and Chief Raymond Hayducka of the South Brunswick Police Department announce authorities are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying an individual believed to be involved in an aggravated sexual assault that occurred in the area of Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park on the border of Plainsboro and South Brunswick Townships.

A joint investigation has determined, on September 28, 2021 between 4:30 P.M. and 5:00 P.M., an adult woman was walking on a path adjacent to the canal where she was approached by a male armed with a weapon and moved to a secondary location on the Plainsboro-South Brunswick border where she was sexually assaulted.

The suspect is believed to be a Latino male, approximately 5’5” – 5’6” tall, wearing dark colored clothing and a dark baseball cap.

The investigation is active and continuing. Anyone with information or surveillance footage of the area is asked to contact Detective Sue Kowalski of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-3287, Detective Patrick Miller of the Plainsboro Police Department at (609)799-2333, or Detective Dominick Delucia of the South Brunswick Police Department at (732)329-4646. Tips may also be submitted to www.middlesextips.com



Authorities Are Investigating An Aggravated Sexual Assault In Area Of Delaware And Raritan Canal State Park Near Border Of Plainsboro And South Brunswick

September 29, 2021

PLAINSBORO-SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone, Chief Fred Tavener
of the Plainsboro Police Department, and Chief Raymond Hayducka of the South Brunswick Police Department announce authorities are investigating an aggravated sexual assault that occurred in the area of Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park on the border of Plainsboro and South Brunswick Townships.

A joint investigation has determined, on September 28, 2021, between 4:30 P.M. and 5:00 P.M., an adult woman was walking on a path adjacent to the canal where she was approached by a male armed with a weapon and moved to a secondary location on the Plainsboro-South Brunswick border where she was sexually assaulted.

The suspect is believed to be a Hispanic male, approximately 5’5”-5’6” tall, wearing dark-colored clothing and a dark baseball cap.   

The investigation is active and continuing. Anyone with information
or surveillance footage of the area is asked to contact Detective Sue
Kowalski of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-3287, Detective Patrick Miller of the Plainsboro Police Department at (609)799- 2333, or Detective Dominick Delucia of the South Brunswick Police Department at (732)329-4646. Tips may also be submitted to http://www.middlesextips.com.


Drunk Driver with Loaded Handgun Crashes In South Brunswick

September 27, 2021

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–South Brunswick Police arrested a 28 year old Philadelphia man after he crashed his car with a loaded handgun on Route 1 Sunday morning September 26, at 2:39 a.m., Officer Kyle Klemas responded to a single car crash on Route 1 south near Sandhill Road. Officer Klemas found the 2016 BMW had collided into a utility pole and the driver, Alman Isangulov age 28 of Philadelphia and a passenger were still sitting in the vehicle. Officer Klemas observed Islangulov to have slurred speech and watery bloodshot eyes. Islangulov and his passenger both denied being injured and admitted to drinking alcohol in Brooklyn before attempting to drive home. As Officer Klemas spoke with the two men, Officer Brooke Goetz arrived and approached the passenger side of the vehicle. Officer Goetz observed a loaded Glock 31 on the passenger side floor of the car. Further investigation recovered a Glock airsoft gun from the rear passenger compartment of the gun. Both guns were connected to Islangulov

Islangulov was arrested and transported to South Brunswick Police headquarters. He was charged with two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm and driving while intoxicated. He was lodged at the Middlesex County Correction Center pending his first court appearance.

Chief Raymond Hayducka said, “To be drunk driving with a loaded handgun is just reckless. This driver was impaired to the point he crashed and had in his possession a loaded handgun. This could have ended in tragedy in so many ways, from the crash, to the weapon, to the officers’ interaction. I want to credit Officers Klemas and Goetz for slowing things down and taking this suspect into custody without any injury.”  


Update: Fatal Accident In South Brunswick Friday Evening

September 25, 2021

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–South Brunswick Police continue to investigate the Friday evening crash on Route 130 that claimed the life of a Somerset County man. At 7:16 PM police responded to Route 130 south at the intersection of Deans Rhode Hall Road for a motor vehicle crash involving a passenger car and a tractor-trailer. Officers arrived to find a 2015 Dodge Dart had run into the rear of a 2015 Volvo tractor-trailer. The driver of the Dodge, a 52-year-old man from Somerset County was pronounced dead at the scene.  The driver of the tractor-trailer was uninjured. The preliminary investigation revealed the tractor-trailer was stopped at the traffic signal when the Dodge ran under the back of the tractor-trailer.

The Monmouth Junction Fire Department, South Brunswick EMS, Middlesex County Medical Examiner, and the New Jersey State Department of Transportation responded to the crash. The highway southbound was closed for five hours during the investigation.

Anyone with information on the crash is asked to call South Brunswick Police Traffic Safety PFC Jesse Blake at (732) 329-4646.


Serious Crash Closes Route 130 South Bound In South Brunswick

September 25, 2021

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–A serious accident happened on Route 130 south bound near Deans Rhode Hall Rd, at approximately 7:15 p.m. last night September 24, 2021. Fire Departments and the first aid squad responded to the scene for reported entrapment.

South Brunswick Police sent at NIXLE Alert at 7:36 p.m. to Avoid Route 130 Southbound between Distribution Way and Deans Rhode Hall Road due to a motor vehicle crash.

The serious accident investigation team was on scene investigating the accident.

No further details are available at this time. There was no official word of the condition of the occupant of the car.



22-Year-Old Dies In South Brunswick Crash

September 20, 2021 — Update Gofundme has been set up see below: Jerry’s Funeral Expenses Gofundme

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and Chief Raymond Hayducka of the South Brunswick Police Department announced today that an early morning crash resulting in one fatality is under investigation.

At approximately 4:35 A.M., on September 19, 2021, South Brunswick police officers responded to the area of Major Road for a single-car motor vehicle crash. The investigation revealed a 2005 Ford F-350 driven by a 22- year-old Pennsylvania man left the roadway and overturned. A passenger in the vehicle, Gerald Pellak, III, 22, of Dayton, died at the scene.

The investigation is active and is continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Officer William Beard of the South Brunswick Police Department at (732) 329-4000 ext. 7439, or Detective Jonathan Berman of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-4328.


Jerry’s Funeral Expenses Gofundme

On September 19th, Jerry Pellak unexpectedly passed away. If you knew Jerry, you’d know how much he touched the lives of everyone around him. He always lit up the room wherever he was. He had a contagious smile and laugh. He will be missed dearly but the memories we have all created with Jerry will not be forgotten.

I have created this gofundme to help raise money to cover the expense of Jerry’s funeral arrangements as the family deals with this loss.Any donation is greatly appreciated and we ask that you continue to keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.
Thank you.


South Brunswick Police Investigate Serious Crash That Critically Injured 22-year-old Driver

September 3, 2021

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–South Brunswick Police continue to investigate a crash from Wednesday morning September 1, that critically injured a 22-year-old Middlesex County man. At 6:35 AM South Brunswick Police responded to a serious motor vehicle crash on Route 522 at Ridge Road / East Gate Drive. The crash occurred when the driver of a 2014 Ford pickup truck headed east on Route 522 failed to stop for a red traffic signal and impacted a 2017 Toyota Corolla which was crossing over the intersection from East Gate Drive to Ridge Road. The impact of the crash pushed the Toyota into a guardrail and trapped the driver. The Monmouth Junction Fire Department responded to the crash and extricated the 22-year-old driver. South Brunswick EMS and paramedics transported the driver to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He is listed in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

The driver of the Ford, an 18-year-old Sussex County man was uninjured in the crash. He is cooperating with investigators.

South Brunswick Police Chief Raymond Hayducka said, “It only takes a second to lose attention and tragedy can happen. I ask everyone to keep this 22-year-old young man and his family in your prayers.”

The roadway was down to one lane for two hours as traffic investigators worked at the scene.

South Brunswick Police Traffic Safety Officer William Beard is the lead investigator in the crash. Anyone with information can call (732) 329-4000 ext. 7432.


2nd Alarm In South Brunswick, 2nd Fire In Same Building This Year

August 27, 2021

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Around 8:00 p.m. all South Brunswick Fire Departments were dispatched to 5 Stults Road for a fire in a warehouse at Sonoco Products Company. There were reports that employees were trying to extinguish the fire but were unsuccessful. When firefighters arrived there were reports of pallets on fire and the sprinkler system was holding the fire and employees were trying to move pallets to get the seat of the fire. Firefighters charged the FDC and also advanced two lines to knock down any fire. There was extensive overhaul involved in the fire. Edison Fire Department responded with large fans to blow the smoke out the building. Firefighters were still on scene at time of this report.

Partial list of departments on scene: All South Brunswick Fire Companies – Monmouth Junction, Kendall Park, Kingston, Plainsboro, Monroe Fire Department, Jamesburg Fire Department, Hightstown Fire Company, Kendall Park First Aid & Rescue Company, North Brunswick First Aid & Rescue Squad, Edison Fire Department and others. South Brunswick Police Department was also on scene.

This is a preliminary report once official information is available the story will be updated.

There was also a fire at the same location on January 19, 2021 that also called for a second alarm you can read about that fire at the links below.

MidJersey.News coverage of the previous fire at that same location:

2nd Alarm Commercial Building Fire In South Brunswick

Updated Information from South Brunswick Police here: UPDATE: 2nd Alarm Warehouse Fire


Press release from South Brunswick Police:

At 8 PM on Friday August 27th, the Monmouth Junction Fire Department was dispatched to the Sonoco Corp. at 5 Stults Road off Route 130 in the Dayton section of the Township for a fire alarm activation. Shortly after receiving the call from the alarm company reporting the fire alarm, employees from the business called 9-1-1 and reported an active fire in the warehouse. Monmouth Junction Fire Chief Scott Smith and Deputy Chief Sean Wert arrived to find a heavy smoke condition inside the building. Firefighters stretched hoselines inside and located palletized goods on fire, which was quickly contained. A total of 10 fire trucks and over 50 firefighters responded to the two-alarm fire, including firefighters from Monmouth Junction, Kendall Park, Kingston, Jamesburg, Plainsboro, North Brunswick Co. #2, Monroe Fire District #3, and Hightstown. Several large trailer-mounted fans from the Edison Fire Department were used to help ventilate the smoke condition created by burning plastic and cardboard. Firefighters from Brookview, East Brunswick District #1, Griggstown, and Montgomery Fire Co. #2 covered South Brunswick fire stations during the incident.
 
Ambulances from South Brunswick, North Brunswick and Monroe responded to the fire. One firefighter was treated at the scene for heat stress and transported to Princeton hospital as a precaution.
 
“Fortunately, the sprinkler system contained the fire to several palletized stacks of goods in the warehouse , according to Chief Smith. It was a humid evening, so we had to rotate our firefighters frequently as they moved goods in the heavily packed warehouse in order to reach the seat of the fire to complete extinguishment. We even had firefighters operating fork-lifts to move unburned product.”
 
The fire is under investigation by the South Brunswick Township Fire Safety Bureau.  Firefighters responded to a two-alarm fire at the same facility back in February of this year.