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Three Hospitalized After Route 70 Accident; Driver Cited For Texting

Afternoon accident closed lanes for about 45 minutes

An afternoon accident at the intersection of state highways 70 and 88 sent three people to area hospitals and resulted in one driver being issued a summons for using a cell phone while driving.

The three-car accident occurred at 2:39 p.m. Thursday, according to police. All three of the drivers involved were waiting at a red light on Route 70 at the intersection at the time.

According to Brick Police Sgt. David Bedrosian, after the light turned green, Shannon C. Straniero, 19, of Brick, proceeded eastbound on the highway in her 2002 Mazda Tribute, but drifted into the westbound lanes and struck two other vehicles, both of which had stopped before the impact.

The force of the impact caused a 2007 Acura MDX being driven by Maria T. Falcon, 51, of Point Pleasant, to be pushed backwards and collide with a 1999 Cadillac DeVille being driven by Jesse W. Leyble, 74, of Toms River.

All three vehicles came to a final rest on the west side of the Laurelton Interchange in the left eastbound travel lane, Bedrosian said.

Straniero was taken to Jersey University Medical Center, Neptune, where she was being treated for internal chest and stomach injuries in the hospital's trauma unit. Falcon and her passenger, Raymond Wagner, 19, of Point Pleasant, were treated at Ocean Medical Center for leg, arm and shoulder injuries.

Officers Tara Schinder John Turrin, as well as Bedrosian and Sgt. Robert Hine were the first arriving units on scene. Turrin is conducting the crash investigation, Bedrosian said.

"Based on Officer Turrin’s investigation, [Straniero] was found to be at fault for the crash and was issued two motor vehicle summonses," said Bedrosian.

The summonses were for careless driving and use of a wireless telephone for texting by an operator of a motor vehicle.

Several of the eastbound lanes of Route 70, on the west side of the interchange, were closed for between 45 and 60 minutes. Congestion in the area was heavy as a result of the crash.

In addition to township police officers, Brick Police EMS, the Laurelton Fire Company and MONOC paramedics responded.

"Distracted driving continues to be a dangerous epidemic on our roadways," said Bedrosian, in a statement. "All drivers are reminded that it is a violation in New Jersey to use a wireless telephone or electronic communication device by an operator of a moving motor vehicle. Distracted driving is anything that takes your eyes or mind off the road or your hands off the steering wheel - especially texting and cell phone use."

clamdigger February 17, 2013 at 03:22 AM
thousands of truckers still use them today, I for one don't see a difference between the two either. people need to learn that the driving part of driving is more important than the talking while driving. if you are talking and driving you need to learn that there are times when you have to say "hold on a second" to whomever is on the other end. as for texting, what is considered "texting" while driving? is reading a text the act of texting? to me the typing of a text is the texting, reading a text is no different then reading a map, looking at a road sign, looking at the GPS unit, reading a traffic notice on the PKWY, NJTP or any other highway that may flash traffic updates or those silver alerts. if you are stopped at a red light and type a text, is that considered texting and driving?
Bob McKnob February 17, 2013 at 07:29 AM
2003: Hit from behind by an idiot on his cell phone. $1900 in damage. 2006: Hit from behind by a drunk on Rt-9 in his business vehicle. $1000 in damage 2009: Wife hit from behind by a dummy on his cell phone in a work van. Rt-88 by the GSP south ramp. $5400 in damage. And I still see people on their phones texting and driving.. It seems they drive worse than the drunks.
Bob McKnob February 17, 2013 at 07:50 AM
Yeh, you go opinionated!! You are right on the money, but why stop there!! Then they should sue the cleaner at Wendy's for leaving the toilet seat up, cause if she put it down, The girl would'nt have been delayed enough to avoid the accident. Then they should sue the guy turning into the strip mall, because if he wasn't there, she would have totally avoided the accident and everyone would be ok, and the birds would be singing and the Angels trumpeting and all would be ok with the world. Umm, they offer blue tooth and hands free devices and speakerphone.. What else do you want cell phone makers and providers to do?? Why should they be held accountable for the selfish actions of this woman? I've been hit by no less than 3 people on their phones or drunk off of their faces in the past 10 years. I still see people of ALL ages on their phones not paying attention. My firm belief is that the law should be changed.. Changed to "if you operate a Motor vehicle and use a cell phone or other device and cause the death or serious physical injury of another. The device shall be immediately confiscated by the police and the victim or victims family should be able to shove said device into the perpetrators rectum right there in the middle of the intersection or accident location where it shall remain for no less than 90 days. How bout it NJMVC!!!
ariah moyer February 17, 2013 at 05:08 PM
If the vehicles that the girl hit had not been an acura mdx and a cadillac the victims would have died. Signed- one of the victoms
larry bird February 20, 2013 at 03:48 PM
I am personally more worried about the 40 year olds out there texting and driving. Alot more of them do it than you may think. They are more dangerous because they are horrible at using their cell phones. slow pokes

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