At approximately 8:16 am, officers from the Manchester Township Police Department responded to the area of County Route 547 and Ridge Avenue in the Ridgeway Section of the township to investigate a motor vehicle accident involving a commercial dump truck and a passenger vehicle.
Upon arrival, officers observed a white, 1988, Lincoln Town Car with extensive damage to its entire passenger compartment in the southbound lane of Route 547. Also at the scene and involved in the crash was a fully loaded, 2015, Caterpillar dump truck which was in the roadway in front of the Lincoln.
The investigation revealed that just prior to the crash, an uninvolved vehicle had pulled off of the roadway and its male driver had exited his vehicle in an attempt to contain a loose dog. The dump truck, which was travelling southbound on Route 547, slowed and eventually stopped in order to avoid the male and the dog. The Lincoln, which was also travelling southbound on Route 547, skidded and subsequently rear ended the dump truck. As a result of the impact, the operator and lone occupant of the vehicle, 82-year-old, Helga Risor, of Lakewood suffered significant injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the dump truck, 30-year-old, Evel Perez of Camden, was uninjured in the crash.
Assisting at the scene were detectives from both the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Fatal Accident Support Team and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) Unit along with Troopers from the New Jersey State Police Commercial Carrier Safety Inspection Unit. Also assisting were EMTs from Quality Medical Transport, paramedics from MONOC, firefighters from both the Ridgeway and Whiting Volunteer Fire Departments and a representative from the Ocean County Medical Examiner’s Office.
The investigation into the crash is still ongoing, but at this point, driver inattention on the part of the driver of the Lincoln appears to be a contributing factor. The roadway was closed for several hours while officers conducted the investigation and while the scene was cleared. This crash is being investigated by Patrolmen Jesse Hoydis, Michael Anderson, and Michael O’Hara of the department’s Traffic Safety Unit.