Two pedestrians were seriously injured after being struck by a car on Route 9 North in front of the Bagel World Shopping Plaza in Manalapan in the early morning hours of Monday, Nov. 19.
Manalapan police responded to the scene at 3:25 a.m. to investigate the accident. Stephen Kelly, 21, of Manalapan and Ann Baez, 22, of Freehold were impacted by the vehicle.
According to police, a 2009 Nissan Versa traveling in the right lane of Route 9 North struck two pedestrians crossing the highway at the designated crosswalk. The victims, two of their friends, and another man disembarked a New Jersey Transit bus on the southbound sholder of Route 9. The pedestrians crossed the southbound section of Route 9 and the center median before they were hit by the Versa traveling northbound.
The two friends of the victims attempted to warn the pedestrians of the oncoming car, but to no avail. Witness statements indicated that the pedestrians attempted to cross the northbound section of Route 9 against the pedestrian traffic signal, police said.
Kelly was hit by the front end of the car which caused him to crash through the front windshield and hit the steering wheel. Baez was struck by the front quarter panel of the car on the driver's side.
A New Jersey State Police medevac helicopter transported Kelly and Baez to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick for treatment of their serious injuries. According to Monmouth County Prosecutor Richard Incremona, both individuals are expected to survive.
Suayan Ligaya, 70, of Freehold, was the driver of the car. Ligaya was transported to CentraState Medical Center and treated for minor injuries, according to police.
Manalapan Police said that no arrests or charges are expected to be filed against the driver in this incident.
Route 9 North was shut down Monday morning for about four hours while an investigation into the incident was conducted. The Monmouth County Serious Collision Analysis Response Team (SCART), Freehold Township Police Department, New Jersey Department of Transportation Incident Management Team, New Jersey Transit, MONOC paramedics, Englishtown-Manalapan First Aid, Freehold First Aid, and the Gordons Corner Fire Company all assisted at the scene.
The investigation into this crash will be directed by Ptl. Dennis O'Brien of the Manalapan Police Department. Any witnesses of the crash are asked to contact O'Brien at 732-446-4300.