Investigation: Fatal Accident on Rt. 36
The area between Church and Main streets in the Belford section was opened back up to traffic at about 2 p.m.
It’s the first fatal accident reported in Middletown this year.
This morning at about 10:51 a.m. a 46-year-old Highlands man was killed in a single vehicle rollover on Route 36 between Church and Main streets, Middletown Police Sgt. First Class Fred Deickmann said.
The driver, and victim, who police cannot yet identify, was driving on the highway when he lost control of his 1996 Toyota Camry. “He struck the concrete (center highway) barrier in front of the (Belford Independent Fire Co.) firehouse and the car rolled over,” Deickmann added. “The road was wet from the rain and, other than a light mist, visibility was relatively clear. We don’t believe those conditions were a factor at this time.”
Emergency responders worked on extricating the victim for about 20 minutes, Deickmann added. Once freed they found that he had sustained severe injuries. He was then transported to Riverview Medical Center, Red Bank, where he was pronounced dead.
The Monmouth County medical examiner will conduct a toxicology screening, “which is standard for a fatal accident,” Deickmann said. Police did not say whether or not they believed speeding and/or drugs/alcohol were factors.
The accident is being investigated by Cpl. Cliff O’Hara, who is being assisted by patrolmen Darrin Simon and Nick Caprio.
The stretch of Route 36 that was closed between Church and Main was reopened at about 2 p.m.
Responding to the scene were: the Leonardo, Fairview and Middletown first-aid squads, Belford Independent and Belford Engine fire companies, Middletown Emergency Services field-com unit, Middletown Fire Police and the NJ-DOT emergency response team.
Anyone with information related to the crash is asked to contact officers at the Traffic Safety Bureau at 732-615-2045.