Berkeley, NJ Police investigate accident on Route 9 where car engulfed in flames
An investigation is ongoing after a car became engulfed in flames following a two car accident in Berkeley Township on Monday morning.
Police said that 77-year-old Frank Schmitt Jr. of Ocean Gate, in his Honda CRV, attempted to turn left from TD Bank into the northbound lanes of Atlantic City Boulevard (Route 9), but, somehow while doing so ended up heading into the southbound lanes instead where he struck another vehicle head-on shortly after 11:00 am.
The CRV Schmitt was driving hopped the curb before leaving the road and ended up back by TD Bank on the front lawn while the Ford Escort that he struck, went over the curb of the highway, struck a road sign, and came to a stop in the parking lot for Kearny Bank.
Police said that the Ford Escort soon thereafter began emanating smoke and then became fully engulfed in flames which led to a part of Atlantic City Boulevard and Frederick Drive by the crash site being closed for a period of time.
The Bayville Fire Company put out the flames coming from the vehicle and it was towed along with the CRV by Jersey Shore Towing away from the scene.
Schmitt was given a summons for Careless Driving and he and his passenger were brought to Community Medical Center in Toms River for treatment of leg pain while the other driver he hit was hospitalized as well.
This is the second reported fire in Berkeley Township over the last week.
Berkeley Township Police said that on Thursday December 8, around 9:30 pm, officers and multiple fire departments responded to a house fire on Southampton Road in the Silver Ridge section where several vehicles were engulfed in flames as well.
Police ensured everyone was out of the residences while the Manitou Park Fire Department, Bayville Fire Department, Pinewald Pioneer Fire Department and the Toms River Fire Department put out the fires.
The homeowners were brought to Community Medical Center for smoke inhalation.
Following the preliminary investigation by the Ocean County Fire Marshall’s Office and Berkeley Police Detectives, the fire appears to have started in the garage of a home and then spread inside and then outside to the vehicles.
It's currently being ruled accidental, according to police.