Distracted driver triggered crash with squad car, say Howell police
The driver whose car collided with a police vehicle in Howell Wednesday ran a stop sign, according to four witnesses - and he was using his cell phone GPS navigator at the time, say police - and the officer was patrolling for distracted drivers.
Gregory Nayvelt, 80, of Howell, is being issued summonses related to the midday crash on West Farms Road at Casino Drive, which involved hospital treatment for him, his wife and Officer Michael Moore.
According to police, Moore was assigned to the statewide "U Drive, U Text, U Pay" safe-driving initiative and was westbound on West Farms Road.
Nayvelt, southbound on Casino Drive in a 1997 Subaru Legacy, crossed West Farms and into Moore's path at about 1:30 PM.
Moore clambered out of his wreck and checked the other car. Nayvelt required extraction by first-responders. Lyudmila Nayvelt, 75, was a front-seat passenger.
Howell Police emergency medical techinicians and Centrastate paramedics rushed the Nayvelts and Moore Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, for treament of pain complaints.
The irony of the crash wasn't lost on Howell Police Chief Andrew Kudrick, who noted that pamphlets describing the campaign were strewn throughout the squad car's passenger cabin.
"Distracted driving, specifically cell phone use, has been a contributing factor in the majority of crashes in Howell," Kudrick said.
"This is another unfortunate example of the consequences of these violations. Fortunately, all involved will recover. However, a life, including yours, could be lost and it can be prevented. Put the phone down and just drive."
The crash investigation is led by Lieutenant Eileen Dodd.