BARNEGAT – A local woman captured on video a car racing backwards and into a historic landmark Saturday.
Amanda Bryant was driving on North Main Street Saturday morning and approached what appeared to be a minor fender bender at the corner of Main Street and Bay Avenue. The video shows a car suddenly accelerating in reverse, crashing through the fencing and onto the front porch of the Cox House.
At that point, Bryant and her companion were driving away.
Bryant shared her video to Facebook that morning, where as of Monday is received 137 comments and 469 shares.
“He first flew behind us and crashed into the bushes then threw it into reverse and then crashed into the car in front of us!” Bryant wrote. “What just happened? He wrecked the house and 3 other cars trying to get away!!!”
One commenter on Bryant’s post claimed the driver approached her and two others after the crash.
“I was there by Riggs funeral home where he ended up and he came over to ask if myself and 2 other witnesses had a phone he could use. The cops did come and talk with him. He did not seem one bit drunk or high. There was something big hanging below his car that looked like his engine. He was Asian and couldn’t speak English well. It seemed like he was trying to say it was a malfunction with his car. Then his family came and I guess they could communicate with the cops. They towed his car and then he left with his family,” Angie Ciccarelli Sheedy wrote.
Jersey Shore Online has reached out to Barnegat Police Chief Keith Germain for details.
The Cox House at 353 North Main St. was built in 1825 by Captain Billy and Marietta Cox. Reportedly, it was the first home in Barnegat to have electricity and running water. The house was deeded to the township back in 1985 by descendant Mary Ann Cox, to be used for recreational and historical purposes.
In 2017, the township conveyed ownership of the house to Ocean County.
“The county has owned the house since 2017 and is refurbishing the historic structure, including replacing the roof. It will eventually be used as a trail head for the Barnegat Branch Trail. Community rooms will also be available to the public,” county spokesman Richard Peterson said via email Monday. “This is a long-term project and we do not as yet have a completion date.”
As for the damage sustained over the weekend, Peterson said, “[it] seems to be contained to the front steps and the wrought iron gate and fence. We are hoping the fence and gate can be repaired because replacing the historic wrought iron would likely be expensive. The county is still assessing the damage and waiting for the police report.”