St. Justin the Martyr Parish in Toms River has been deemed unsafe following a Thursday morning accident.

Toms River Township Police released a statement on Thursday afternoon regarding the accident.

Through their preliminary investigation, Toms River Police said that they responded to the church on Fischer Boulevard Thursday morning around 10:25 am along with EMS Units.

Police learned from the driver, 86-year-old Frances Baranowski of Brick Township, that she said she was trying to pull out of her parking space when "her foot became stuck on the gas pedal and behind the brake pedal, causing her vehicle to accelerate forward, hit the curb, and become airborne before colliding with the building."

(Photo: Vin Ebenau, Townsquare Media NJ)
(Photo: Vin Ebenau, Townsquare Media NJ)
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The vehicle crashed into the front of the church just to the left of the stained glass window where the narthex is located next to the candle room at St. Justin The Martyr Parish that broke through the brick wall and left a hole in the building.

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There have been repair crews on site at the church on Thursday afternoon working to address the damage left behind by the car crash this morning.

(Photo: Vin Ebenau, Townsquare Media NJ)
(Photo: Vin Ebenau, Townsquare Media NJ)
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Toms River Police said that the vehicle involved sustained moderate damage to the front end, but the driver refused medical treatment at the scene.

As for the church, it has been deemed unsafe to access by the Toms River Township Building Department due to sustaining considerable damage to the structure from the crash.

Toms River Police said that the Thursday morning accident at St. Justin The Martyr Parish is being investigated by TPRD Officer Will Resetar.

UPDATE: Fr. Mark Kreder, the Pastor of St. Justin The Martyr Parish in Toms River, posted the following message on the church website.

"To the Saint Justin the Martyr Parish Community, Today, August 18th, a car crashed into the church building. Fortunately, no one was injured. That is the most important thing. Damage to the building, however, has been extensive. As a result, the Toms River Township Building Department has deemed the narthex part of the building unsafe.  Our insurance company has immediately gotten a repair crew out to remedy the situation.  The men are working diligently. Tomorrow, the Township will make a determination as to if we will be able to use the building this weekend. I will update you as soon as a decision is made. One should check our website and Facebook page for current information rather than other sources.  I would like to thank the Toms River Police Department, who as always are most professional and helpful, the EMS workers, the Toms River East Fire Department and all those who responded to this accident.  Once again, we are grateful to Almighty God that no one was injured. 

-- Father Mark."

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