Township Man Killed, Two Injured in Early Morning Route 70 Crash

Police say man crossed into opposing lane of traffic

A township man was killed and two others were injured in an early morning head-on collision on Route 70 Wednesday. 

Manchester resident Edward Strungis, 60, was killed when the Lexus IS300 he was driving westbound on Route 70 crossed into the opposing lane of traffic near Leisure Village West at about 1:08 a.m. Wednesday and struck another vehicle, said Capt. Lisa Parker in a statement.

Strungis was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. He was pronounced dead at the scene, Parker said. 

The other car, a Nissan Altima, was driven by 77-year-old Sylvia M. Panza of Manchester. Both Panza and her passenger, 71-year-old Lemig B. Valdemara of Indialantic, Fla., were wearing restraints and were taken by helicopter to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, Parker said.

Panza suffered "severe trauma to the legs and chest," Parker said. She and Valdemara are listed in critical condition.

Patrolmen Ian Bole and Antonio Ellis from the police department's Traffic Safety Section are investigating the crash, Parker said.

Also responding to the scene were the Manchester and Ridgeway volunteer fire departments, paramedics from MONOC, Quality Medical Transport and the Manchester Volunteer First Aid Squad. The Ocean County Criminalistic Investigation Unit and Medical Examiner's Office, and the New Jersey Department of Transportation Diversionary Team were also at the scene, Parker said.

A number of serious head-on collisions have occurred on Route 70 recently. Six people were injured in a  last September on the highway near Washington Avenue. One month later,  and injured four. In December,  after a head-on crash near Beckerville Road. Most recently, a head-on crash at the Route 70/571 intersection  with critical injuries.

Bryan April 18, 2012 at 06:22 PM
I passed this crash shortly after it happened! Was one of the worst I've seen! As a professional driver of 20 years I just don't get why people feel the need to be out at 1 am on a weeknite just senseless ! Nothing people who to work at those ungodly hours & driunks! I hope these people recover from this & prayers to the families! Personally I am surprised to see that they lived cause it was bad!
. April 18, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Maybe the 60 year old was coming from work! Who are you to dictate why they were out at that hour? Apparently, you were out at the same hour! It could have been for a number of reasons.
tax paying concerned citizen April 18, 2012 at 07:05 PM
barbara April 18, 2012 at 11:57 PM
heard about this on the news this a.m. before i went to work. i travel that route everyday, twice a day. It was cleared out when i got there. Scary. Gotta be really alert and keep your eyes opened. RIP...
Stuart April 19, 2012 at 11:32 AM
Unfortunately senior drivers have hearing loss,vision loss and their mental processes become impaired. I know as I have a mother 90 and father 91 and my parents when in their 80s had 5 accidents between them in 2 years (none serious but caused by them). Their licenses were taken away from them(other States but NJ will take the license). We are told teens are the most dangerous drivers which may be true, but seniors are just as dangerous. Teens usually kill themselves in single car accidents while seniors hit other cars. And by the way I'm also a senior.
Project Bluebeam April 19, 2012 at 02:09 PM
"the Lexus IS300 he was driving westbound on Route 70 crossed into the opposing lane of traffic"... Sounds like somebody was in too much of a hurry and tried to pass a car that was slowing down to turn. And, while were on the topic of recent crashes in Manchester...you forgot to mention the murder of Robert Vallee by a certain member of the Jackson Memorial baseball team. Hasn't even been a full year yet.
Da Gr8 1 April 19, 2012 at 02:24 PM
It is time 70 gets widened an have a barrier installed in the center to prevent these accidents....oh yeah. And add a light at beckerville road also
Denise April 19, 2012 at 03:16 PM
Something needs to be done about Rt. 70 and the way people are driving. There have been too many bad accidents on this road. The speeding is ridiculous. I live just off of Rt. 70 and therefore am on it a lot. I get the feeling people think the speed is 70, it's 50!!! And please just drive, stop doing everything else. Your life is at stake as well as others!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
bhavaja April 19, 2012 at 05:47 PM
I heard the helicopter and wondered what waa going on; route 70 is just scary at this point. As per judging others about why they are out -- maybe coming back from airport or job - caregiving - not all late night drivers partiers
bhavaja April 19, 2012 at 05:51 PM
...and even a professional can have an accident. Over tired, heart attack or diatracted...just saying.
Project Bluebeam April 19, 2012 at 05:55 PM
"the Lexus IS300 he was driving westbound on Route 70 crossed into the opposing lane of traffic"... Sounds like somebody was in too much of a hurry and tried to pass a car that was slowing down to turn. And, while were on the topic of recent crashes in Manchester...you forgot to mention the murder of Robert Vallee by a certain member of the Jackson Memorial baseball team. Hasn't even been a full year yet.
Jessica Panza April 19, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Sad to say but this was my Grandmother who got hit in the Green car she drives sooo slow so the guy must have been going suuuper fast to hit her like that she was coming home so late b.c. of her card club and she never takes that route home but for some reason of fate she was struck . shes alive thank god but is having a hard time breathing, she had both feamurs broken, ankle, 19 out of 24 ribs broken, and laseraion to the back of her head . no brain damage thank god. shes such a selfless caring person its horrable that this could happen to such a sweet lively woman.
Jessica Panza April 19, 2012 at 06:28 PM
shes my grandma she and her friend val were driving home from their card club that night yea its late but times flys when your having fun right? as for the a-hole in the white car we dont know if he had a heart attack or if he was drunk well find out soon if he was drunk best know we will be pressing charges lol
barbara April 19, 2012 at 10:48 PM
Sorry about your grandma, hope she is ok. Must be very hard. Sad. But I have to agree with No Name, he could have been coming home from work. No one knows for sure at this point. He is gone, it is sad. RIP to whoever he was. I travel that road everyday and it is scary. I am a younger senior, live in the Village, and I can't believe these 90 year olds who drive and have to get out of their cars with a walker. Seniors should be in bed at 1:00 a.m. Not judging here, just saying.......
frank April 20, 2012 at 02:08 PM
retest starting at 55 should be manditory when you renew your license and you should have to retest again every five years after that if its an inconvience then your beat.
barbara April 20, 2012 at 08:43 PM
Any news on the two women? Hope they are ok.
sstrungis April 23, 2012 at 05:28 PM
Ms. Panza, I understand that your Grandmother was involved in the crash, but that "a-hole in the white car" was my father. He was not speeding. I don't know about the heart attack yet, and he's been dry for 4 years. He was not out gallivanting. He was out late at a volunteer meeting for a fundraiser circus at his Masonic Shrine. I am pleased that both passengers in the other car have survived, but my father did not. Some thought before posting your comments might be nice. Thanks, Scott Strungis; Somerset County, NJ
Walter April 23, 2012 at 10:59 PM
You must be an expert to come up with that absurd statement, probably believe that Obama is God's gift to the country too!
Walter April 23, 2012 at 11:04 PM
My condolences to all involved. It seems that there have been quite a few head on collisions along Route 70, maybe it is time for the State DOT to come up with a solution to this ever saddening problem with this highway. Maybe erect some kind of divider or correct engineering flaws with the construction of the roadway.
Don Gottwerth April 25, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Yeah, and those Pennsylvania nutcakes are bad news when they're thru this area. Speed, multi vehicle passing, tailgating. And then there's those dump trucks that are a menace to all in every direction.
the head April 29, 2012 at 12:53 AM
jersey barriers street lights and some traffic light would be a good starting point
George Har May 02, 2012 at 10:21 AM
Why at age 55, if retesting is required it should be for everyone who has a license. There are many drivers out there who have fogotten the rules of the road, or ign ore them and do things like pass on a solid line, holding a cell phone, excessive speeding etc.
deborah schaechter June 18, 2012 at 10:46 AM
enough... my prayers go out to both families. It's sad that everyone being so cruel. this is the worse time in those families lives. I can't imagine as I pasted that accident on my way to work at 5:00am the distruction that it caused in a blink of an eye.


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