A trash truck worker and a passenger in a van had to be flown to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune after they were seriously injured when the driver of the van plowed into the truck on Route 571 Wednesday morning, Manchester Township Police said.
Nathaniel Murray Jr., 52, was loading trash on to the Central Jersey Waste and Recycling Inc.-owned truck around 9 a.m. when James V. Johnson, 66, of Manchester, crashed a Community Services Inc.-owned Ford van first into him, then into the back of the garbage truck, police said.
Though he was conscious and alert when officers arrived, Murray was flown to the hospital because of his injuries, police said, and is listed in stable condition.
Cassandra Mollock, 77, a passenger in the back seat of the van, was also seriously injured in the crash, police said, due in part to the fact she wasn’t wearing a seat belt.
She had to be flown to Jersey Shore University Medical Center, as well, police said, where she’s listed in critical condition.
The trash truck’s driver, Rodman Bryd, 55, of Trenton, wasn’t hurt in the crash, police said.
Route 571 was closed for hours following the crash, and didn’t completely reopen until the late afternoon.
Assisting at the scene were members of the Manchester and Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Companies, Manchester Volunteer First Aid, Quality Medical Transport, Monoc Paramedics, the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Criminalistics Investigation Unit and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.
The collision is currently under investigation by Ptl. Antonio Ellis of the Manchester Township Police Traffic Safety Section.
No charges were immediately announced.