Police are investigating what caused a 70-year-old driver to leave Route 539 Monday morning and strike into a utility pole in Manchester, killing his wife and dog, police said.
The crash is under investigation by Patrolmen Ian Bole and Doug Higgins from the Manchester Township Police Department's Traffic Safety Section.
Wires on the roadway were nearly touching the roadway all day Monday after the car struck a utility pole, and then overturned before striking a tree in the area of Roosevelt Boulevard.
Both Robert S. Olsen of Allentown and his wife, Karen, who died after suffering injuries from the crash, were wearing their seat belts, police said.
Karen Olsen died after she was transported to Community Medical Center in Toms River for severe head trauma, and then airlifted to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune.
The driver, Robert S. Olsen, was extricated from the vehicle and airlifted to Jersey Shore for chest injuries. He was listed in stable condition Monday evening, police said.
The Olsen's dog was also traveling with them at the time of the collision and suffered severe injuries to its back and legs, police said.
The dog was transported by the Manchester Animal Control to the Ocean County Veterinarian where it was euthanized due to the extent of its injuries, police said.
At approximately 10:58 a.m., the Olsen's silver 2012 Jeep Liberty was traveling on Route 539 northbound when it left the roadway, and crashed.
Assisting at the scene were the Whiting Volunteer Fire Department, paramedics from MONOC, Quality Medical Transport, the Ocean County Criminalistic Investigation Unit and the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office.