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Two Dead In Head-On Collision on Route 70

Police investigating crash that leaves a third victim in critical condition

Route 70 in Manchester Township near Beckerville Road was the site of a fatal head-on collision late Sunday afternoon, according to reports.

Capt. Lisa Parker of the reported that the fatal head-on crash occurred on Route 70, near mile marker 42 in Manchester Township. A 2005 red PT Cruiser and a 1999 red Subaru Forester were involved in that head-on crash on the roadway.

The 78-year-old female driver of the Subaru, Frances Cook, was pronounced dead at the scene, while the 90-year-old female passenger of the PT Cruiser, Virginia Miller, was transported to Community Medical Center where she succumbed to her injuries, according to Parker.

The 59-year-old female driver of the PT Cruiser, Roberta Hankins, was airlifted to Jersey Shore University Medical Center, where she remains in critical condition. All three individuals resided in Manchester Township, say police.

The crash resulted in Route 70 being closed for more than four hours due to the investigation. Parker reported that all traffic was re-routed to Beckerville Road during that investigation.

Assisting at the scene were Quality Medical Transport, Whiting Fire Department, Monoc Paramedics, the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT), Ocean County Medical Examiner, the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department and Ocean County Prosecutor's Office.

The crash is being investigated by Ptl. Paul Bachovchin and Ptl. Tom O’Hare of the Manchester Township traffic safety division.

VICTOR FINAMORE December 19, 2011 at 06:00 PM
As the population and southern migration southern counties continues year after year.. As each land is sold and redeveloped, people are moving towards covience.. Yet, nothing is done with the roads..? Same excuses- the cost, the cost,, This is NJ- everything cost money to live and survive here for anyone who live here- people of all ages. Everything will continue to go up.. Each day waiting- is costing more and more..? If labor rate today is $100.oo to change a light bulb that's burned out,, well 20yrs from now- same light bulb, just the labor rate is $300.oo - now you decide to change it? "Really". Just sharring ideas and concerns :)
omad December 19, 2011 at 06:28 PM
The State has owned the Right of Way for this road since the 1920s. They have only widened it when pressure has been applied. I know this for a fact as my dad was in charge of the Right of Way acquisitions for the Highway Dept, including the Parkway, and when we moved down to Beachwood from Trenton in the late 50s he talked about this becoming a problem all the time. So land acquisition is not one of the problems. Maybe the pressure can be applied by our counties getting together and proving the toll of lives taken by the antiquated roads.
Shelly December 19, 2011 at 06:42 PM
I thought that one of the major problems with widening route 70 all these years was that there are Pinelands issues. Or maybe that's just certain sections of the road? Route 70 has been a safety hazard for decades. And you can't ignore the fact that many drivers on that road are simply too old to be driving. I don't consider someone in their 60s a danger neccessarily .... but some of these people are well into their 80s. Know when to hand over the keys.
Christopher schell December 19, 2011 at 06:49 PM
Yes the big bend is so bad at mile marker 48 so many head ons and a lot of. Poles have been taking out there from people crashing there. Route 70 really needs to have a dividers put in. How many more people have to loss there life's and and family's have to lose there loved ones this is starting to get crazy I shake driven wit my family in the car on that road all most every crash has some one driven over the age Of 65 what's that tell you
omad December 19, 2011 at 06:50 PM
Pineland issues could be one of the reasons these days. But up until the late 70s and 80s it probably could have been clear sailing on widening. About the "old" drivers. You are probably right about some of them, but a look at many of the accidents in the past few years will show lots of drivers in the drunken, young, speeding, reckless categories are in the mix. Plus traffic in and out of Ocean has increased rapidly. Routes 37 and 70, where most of the traffic coming from the west is headed, are pure traffic jams at any time of the day.
Mattie December 19, 2011 at 07:59 PM
What?? They weren't illegal aliens, rushing to collect their welfare and food stamps with their 5 different IDs and aliases, so they could speed over to their dealer's den and trade that taxpayer's money to buy drugs- to sell out of their section 8 housing?? Whaaaat? I don't believe it.
Eggs-n-Toast December 19, 2011 at 08:53 PM
Rt 70 is a badly maintained road with many poorly lit curves, areas with no shoulders, and worn-off barely visible center lines. NJ needs to devote some $$ for upgrading that road before more deaths occur. RIP
Kim Mayer December 19, 2011 at 08:59 PM
I absolutely have to agree with you 100 % trying to get onto Rt 70 from Beckerville is awful due to that angle.
Nancy Pollack December 19, 2011 at 10:21 PM
PUT A DIVIDER INTHE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD. THERE ARE TOO MANY HEAD ON COLLISIONS ON 70.
Bryan December 19, 2011 at 10:23 PM
I drive 70 everyday to work don't know if it's a design thng or not. It's seems to me it's more like a people thing! The elderly drive at their own pace regardless of speed limit! Just because you drive slow dosent mean you are driving safely! Someone driving 55 comes up on someone doing 45mph causes a jam up behind them
lorrie December 19, 2011 at 10:32 PM
Its not an aweful thing to say. I am a Christian who believes God takes us as HE and HE alone wants us. Its just that from experience it seems as though God takes takes alot iat one time. Sad but true. In less than two yrs we have lost our 5yr old son, 9yr old daughter, my grand-father and Grand-mother, my husbands father, plus so many Aunts and Uncles on both sides that we began to stop count.And so yes, I feel God was cleaning house Maening the earth. Sorry if that offends people. He took a very dear friend of mine in the accident on RT 70 and Mass. Ave. He also took a sweet innocent little girl from down the street from me and a 14yr old from a friend of mine, all recent. Never did say Him cleaning house was something bad or that it was not hard on those left here. Lorrie
steve palestini December 19, 2011 at 10:47 PM
I live in Manchester.Where is beckerville road?
Bryan December 19, 2011 at 11:25 PM
Just past the Lakehurst circle headin west on rt 70
stacy December 19, 2011 at 11:31 PM
I agree.people need to learn how to drive.i see an accident everyday.i always have someone tailgating me.
Ann December 20, 2011 at 12:19 AM
People are the reason for accidents like this one that happened on Sunday, not God. People who are to elderly with vision or other impairment s AND all those who are old enough to drive right up to and including the old folks who don’t understand what a speed limit means. It is not an option; it is a limit to how fast you are allowed to drive, not to mention putting down the cell phones, or stop texting, eating or applying make-up, smoking or drinking or any other thing that causes a driver not to focus on what they are doing. A car/truck IS a lethal weapon, when reason and attention to what you are doing is not present. Let’s get REAL people! Pay attention and slow down, and if you have any physical ailments that prevent you from being able to see or make rational choices DON’T DRIVE! Now for the enforcers of the law I think we need a more visible presence and MORE summons given out to those who do not obey the traffic laws. AND for the law makers, get off your high horses and pass some laws that will make a difference! And for the state and county and municipal governments, do something about our antiquated roadways! And where do we get the money from? Get creative there are plenty of ways to raise money besides increasing taxes.
Ann December 20, 2011 at 12:20 AM
People are the reason for accidents like this one that happened on Sunday, not God. People who are to elderly with vision or other impairment s AND all those who are old enough to drive right up to and including the old folks who don’t understand what a speed limit means. It is not an option; it is a limit to how fast you are allowed to drive, not to mention putting down the cell phones, or stop texting, eating or applying make-up, smoking or drinking or any other thing that causes a driver not to focus on what they are doing. A car/truck IS a lethal weapon, when reason and attention to what you are doing is not present. Let’s get REAL people! Pay attention and slow down, and if you have any physical ailments that prevent you from being able to see or make rational choices DON’T DRIVE! Now for the enforcers of the law I think we need a more visible presence and MORE summons given out to those who do not obey the traffic laws. AND for the law makers, get off your high horses and pass some laws that will make a difference! And for the state and county and municipal governments, do something about our antiquated roadways! And where do we get the money from? Get creative there are plenty of ways to raise money besides increasing taxes.
lorrie December 20, 2011 at 12:52 AM
I do also agree with u Ann. I do not nor did I ever blame the 17yr old that hit my car killing my kids. Thats why it was called an accident. I did however praise God for not letting them suffer from such horrific injuries. I am not one of the elderly but after having 2 heart attacks I willing gave up my lic. Thank God I did bc I've had 4 mimi strokes since. I believe God turns ALL for His glory. I also am a STRONG believer in re testing the elderly at a certain age for eyes and driving ablity. I think more deaths r caused by the elderly than by the teens.
Kelly A. Brown December 20, 2011 at 02:31 AM
YOU ARE ALL SO RIGHT - EVERY INTERSECITON HAS BECOME MORE DANGEROUS THAN EVER - WHATEVVER IT OWULD TAKE TO MAKE THEM SAFER, NEEDS TO BE DONE ASAP. DON'T LET ANYMORE PEOPLE BE KILLED.
Mick December 20, 2011 at 06:08 AM
Seems like this has become Finamore's column.........
Skizma December 20, 2011 at 11:03 AM
it's an ignorant thing to say. stupid.
Skizma December 20, 2011 at 11:09 AM
Well, it will cost the taxpayers money....but...it's the taxpayers road! besides, what are they doing with all the money NOW??? That is the lousiest excuse. All our roads need serious improvement. I would LOVE to really know what happens to all the road funding. The LINES on the PARKWAY are atrocious even. In the dark...forget if it's rainy or wet....are impossible to see. And THAT's the parkway. NJ stinks with it's road ways. We are the most densely populated state......all those people....all that money...we ought to have state of the art top notch roads....huh.....
Mattie December 20, 2011 at 01:24 PM
Dividers are MORE dangerous on a road like Rt 70 than no divider at all...
Da Gr8 1 December 20, 2011 at 02:40 PM
i agree with you 100 percent victor. for years ive been saying 70 needs to be widened and to put a light at beckerville rd
LaVerne Delli Santi December 20, 2011 at 04:26 PM
I agree with you. There are to many elderly people driving. I recently ran across a woman who is 91 years old still driving. She couldn't even put her groceries in her car. Imagin her driving down RT 70.
MAUREEN KENNEDY December 20, 2011 at 09:43 PM
Look either your vision is good when you drive or it's not. Either you're a good driver or you're not. Either you're a safe driver or you're not. There is only one person that knows the answer to these questions...YOU! If you honestly can't answer YES I AM to those questions....then do us all a big favor...GET OFF THE ROAD! .....PLEASE NO MATTER WHAT AGE YOU ARE...DON'T LET ONE MORE PERSON DIE!
christine February 17, 2012 at 07:26 PM
I commute everyday inthis road (Rte 70) going East and I pray every day that I arrive to work safely. Yes the old are out 6:00 a.m. where r they going who knows driving like they have all the time in the day to get to there destination while commuters are driving 60+ trying to get to work especially entrance to Parkway North in Lakewood very dangerous area commuters driving on left lane wait for last second to cut people off tp entrance of Parkway seen so many accidents in area. I Thank God everyday I am home safe when I drive this road Rte 70 in either direction lots of elderly and speeding drivers
LaVerne Delli Santi February 18, 2012 at 01:05 AM
You are 100% right. There are too many older people driving here in Manchester. Not only on route 70, all over. I met a woman who was 98 in the Shop Rite parking lot and she could hardly walk let alone drive. They think they own the roads. And they do drive to slow making other drivers who have destinations to go to frustrated. I think that after a certain age we all should be tested again. I would be willing to go myself.
Tara Liston Cunningham August 23, 2012 at 07:25 PM
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/make-route-70-in-new-jersey-safe/ Didn't take an old person to kill my sister. Please sign this petition to find a sustainable solution
Bill December 21, 2012 at 03:03 AM
I have been driving Rt 70 for some time now and I want to know where are the people driving 55 mph that some have referred to? I tried driving at the speed limit (verified by GPS) and was tailgated and passed in the most dangerous manner. Average speed seems to be about 60 mph with some trying to push the flow to 70 mph. I have seen the same car (still on the road) stopped by the police multiple times. While dealing with the speeders, tailgaters, and passers, I then have to put up with people who slow to 35 or 40 mph (in a 55 mph zone) every time they come to a gentle curve in the road. Other times they don't even need the curve to slow. People need to learn that when they are going to travel substantially below the speed limit, they must pull to the side of the road and let traffic pass. No one seems to have heard of the cruise control installed in their car. Very few can maintain a constant speed. The problem is not people older than 60, young kids, immature sports car and oversize pickup drivers or any other group. The problem is that no one seems obey the traffic laws or to even understand why they exist.
Da Gr8 1 December 21, 2012 at 07:19 PM
a lot of people have died there anthony and this idiot of a mayor still does nothing about it. deplorable

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