Two Dead In Lakewood Crash After Police Pursuit

Photo courtesy The Lakewood Scoop

LAKEWOOD – A man allegedly involved in a shooting in Lakewood Thursday died as a result of a car crash.

Twenty-nine-year-old Rynell Bennett, of Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, and a 16-year-old Gloucester County boy died of injuries sustained when Bennett lost control of his 2016 Ford Focus and hit a tree at Massachusetts Avenue and Cross Street. The car was engulfed with flames as the police arrived and removed the men from the vehicle. Both died on the scene.

At 6:51 p.m. June 7, Toms River Police attempted to stop Bennett, who was not wearing a seatbelt and driving with a suspended vehicle registration. He was also wanted for allegedly being involved in a shooting in Lakewood that morning.

Toms River Police Officer Kyle Lamar followed Bennett, but stopped pursuit when it became clear the public’s safety was at risk by continuing to follow the Ford Focus, which had run the red light at Massachusetts Avenue and Route 70 at the Lakewood border.

Photo courtesy The Lakewood Scoop

Police came upon the vehicle a few minutes later in Lakewood, which had crashed and was engulfed in flames. An investigation revealed the car lost control while traveling at a high speed and hit the tree.

At the scene, police struggled to remove the occupants from the vehicle, but did free Bennett and carried him across the street to perform CPR. EMS and Lakewood Police responded as well, however, both men died at the scene.

Officers Lamar and Thomas Elwood, also TRPD, were taken to Community Medical Center and treated for smoke inhalation. Both were released.

Assisting OCPO in the investigation were the Ocean County Fatal Accident Support Team (FAST), the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department CSI and Ocean County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Thanks to The Lakewood Scoop for the use of the photos.