Four Manchester Officers injured when driver strikes a stopped vehicle
Four Manchester Police Officers and another man are injured after the driver of a Ford Explorer hit them and their cars leading to a DWI arrest on Thursday night.
It was around 11:13 p.m. when Patrolman Gavin Reilly and members of the Manchester Township Police Department’s Narcotics Enforcement Team pulled over a 1997 Ford Explorer on Route 37 east near Northampton Boulevard in Toms River.
Things were as you'd expect.
Then about 26-minutes later at 11:39 p.m. while officers were conducting their investigation a Ford Expedition which heading east struck the stopped Explorer.
As the crash was occurring the officers had the driver of the Explorer outside of the vehicle and under arrest.
Several officers were also outside of their cars near the Explorer at the time of the collision.
The driver of the Expedition, 39-year-old, Christopher Zarro of Manchester, immediately stopped after the collision and got out of his vehicle.
Zarro did not appear to be injured and refused medical treatment but he was under the influence.
He was arrested and charged with DWI by Toms River Police.
The four injured Manchester Township Police officers in the crash are Sgt. Richard Mazza, Ptl. Christian Nazario, Ptl. Gavin Reilly and Ptl. Peter Manco.
Injuries to Mazza, Nazario, and Reilly were minor in nature and ranged from two injured knees and an injured elbow to an injured hand.
All three officers did not require additional medical treatment at the scene.
Ptl. Manco however sustained injuries to both knees and lower legs and was transported to Community Medical Center in Toms River by Quality Medical Transport where he was treated and then released.
The man arrested during the initial motor vehicle stop sustained minor injuries to his back and legs but refused medical attention at the scene.
The motor vehicle crash and DWI incident are being investigated by the Toms River Police Department’s Traffic Safety Unit.
Ironically enough, this incident comes just hours before Governor Phil Murphy officially dedicated a section of Interstate-195 in honor of New Jersey State Police Trooper Marc K. Castellano, who in 2010, was killed in the line of duty when he was struck by a vehicle while on the shoulder of that highway.
This also comes nine months after another Manchester Police Officer was injured when a driver failed to obey the Move Over Law.
"We would like to remind drivers that it is the law (NJ Title 39:4-92.2) to slow down, and if safe, move over – away from police, fire crews, paramedics and tow truck drivers when they see flashing lights on the side of the road. Drivers are encouraged to visit www.moveoverlaw.com for more information," Manchester Township Police said in a statement.