MANCHESTER – A driver was sent to a trauma unit after a five-car crash Monday afternoon, police reported. Two young children were also taken to a hospital as a precautionary measure.
The collision happened just after 1 p.m. on July 22 in the eastbound lanes of Route 37 near the intersection with Alexander Avenue in Manchester.
When officers arrived, they saw five vehicles involved in the crash: a 2016 Kia Sorrento, a 2002 Mercury Sable, a 2016 Nissan Sentra, a 2007 Toyota Corolla, and a 2001 Ford F-250.
After initial investigation, police were able to determine the following chain of events:
The Kia was heading east in the left lane when the driver, Tara Traendly, 30, of Bayville, didn’t heed the slow moving traffic ahead of her and rear-ended the Sable.
After hitting the Sable, her Kia sideswiped the truck as it was traveling in the lane next to her.
Meanwhile, the Sable, after being hit, was pushed forward into the rear of the Sentra, which was slowing down in traffic.
This, in turn, bumped the Sentra into the Corolla.
The driver of the Mercury Sable, the first car hit, was Ann Smith, 82, of Whiting. She sustained multiple lacerations as well as head, neck, and back injuries as a result of the collision and was airlifted to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune for treatment, police said.
Two children, ages 2 and 8 months, were in Traendly’s car. They were brought to Community Medical Center in Toms River “for treatment of complaints of pain as well as for precautionary measures,” police said.
The other drivers were not mentioned as injured. They included Peter Degrazio Jr., 58, of Toms River, in the truck; James Reid, 71, of Whiting, in the Sentra; and Mary Hunter, 37, of Lakehurst, in the Corolla.
Route 37 eastbound was closed for several hours and traffic was diverted while the accident was investigated, the injured were tended to and the scene was cleared.
Assisting at the scene were paramedics from MONOC, EMTs from Quality Medical Transport, medical personnel from Hackensack Meridian Medevac Helicopter Services, and firefighters from the Manchester Volunteer Fire Department. The crash remains under investigation by Patrolman Ian Bole of the department’s Traffic Safety Unit.