A 27-year-old from Paramus was killed and a 23-year-old from Neptune was charged with drunken driving after two unrelated crashes on the northbound Garden State Parkway minutes apart Saturday morning, state police said.
The first accident, at mile marker 86.2, occurred about 7 a.m., when the 2003 Toyota Corolla left the road and crashed, killing Jeffrey Rosenberg of Paramus, according to N.J. State Trooper Christopher Kay.
“A preliminary investigation revealed that the driver lost of control of the vehicle and ran off the left side of the roadway, overcorrected (a turn back to the right), spun around clockwise and then left the right side of the roadway. At that point, the car overturned and went into a grass embankment, striking a tree,” said Kay, who said the initial call came in at 7:03 a.m.
While police and emergency personnel were still attending to that scene, a second crash occurred just a mile further north, Kay said, with the call coming in at 7:14 a.m. that a 2003 white Lexus had left the road and struck a tree at mile marker 87.2.
In that incident, Justin Schwartz of Neptune, who was reportedly traveling in the center lane, lost control and went off the right side of the road. The car spun and struck a tree on the driver's side, trapping Schwartz.
Schwartz, who was extricated by the Toms River Fire Department and airlifted to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, is listed in stable condition there, Kay said.
“Sufficient evidence existed at the scene to charge Schwartz with DWI and careless driving,” Kay said, noting that the roads were clear and dry at the time of both crashes.
Assisting at the scene of the first crash were the Pleasant Plains Fire Department and the Ocean County Medical Examiner's Office, Kay added.
The trooper urged anyone with information on either accident to call the Bass River Station of the New Jersey State Police at 609-296-1027.