Serious Accident During Toms River’s Halloween Parade

File Photo

TOMS RIVER – A serious motor vehicle accident happened during the 80th annual Halloween Parade in Downtown Toms River, according to the township police department. Authorities are asking for your help if you witnessed the crash.

Ocean County Scanner News was the first to report the incident at around 9:00 p.m. during the Wednesday night event. It happened right outside of the Ocean County Courthouse on Washington Street near Allen Street. Their report stated that a landing zone for a medical chopper was being setup at Winding River Park nearby.

According to Toms River Police Department Spokesperson Jillian Messina, 80-year-old Harold Oswald of Willow Grove, Pennsylvania was riding in a miniature gas powered cart when the vehicle overturned. Oswald was thrown from the vehicle, hitting his head on the roadway and sustaining serious head injuries.

Oswald suffered a skull fracture as he wasn’t wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, nor was there a seatbelt in the vehicle. Messina added “while performing various maneuvers in the roadway, he lost control of the cart, causing it to tip.”


According to an e-mailed statement to Jersey Shore Online, “Because of the popularity of this annual event, it is believed that some parade-goers may have possession of a video of the incident which would aid in determining the cause of the crash.”

Anyone who may have photos or videos should share them with Toms River Police Patrolman Pascal Gambardella. He can be reached via e-mail

Stephanie Trimble was watching the parade when she witnessed the incident. She said “it was in front of the white pillars of the old courthouse. We saw it happen. My sister and I both work in the medical field and ran to him, once paramedics got there we backed off and were done with the parade. Our children were crying watching it happen in front of them. We left as well.”

Oswald remains in serious but stable condition at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune.

The phone number of the Toms River Township Police Department is 732-349-0150.

The accident is under investigation.