- by Carolyne Volpe Curley / Carolyne@WestEssexNOW.com
LIVINGSTON, NJ - The 300 block of South Livingston Avenue (near Inglemoor Care Center) was shut down for about four hours on Tuesday, July 1, after a motor vehicle which was stopped for hazardous driving turned out to have toxic elements within it.
According to Livingston Police Detective Sergeant Anthony Dippold, his police department received calls at about 5pm on July 1, alerting them to a 2006 Blue Honda Element driving north erratically on S. Livingston Avenue. When police pulled over the vehicle they noticed that the driver, Andrew Straub, 27, had hypodermic syringes on the center console.
The police called in the Nutley Hazmat Team to identify the chemicals and the Honda was impounded at police headquarters. In addition, animal control was called in because live fish were also found in the car, which the driver stated were pets being moved to his new Livingston home.
The items inside of Straub's vehicle caused police to be concerned enough to close down South Livingston Avenue. Nutley Hazmat arrived at the scene by 5:24pm and after a subsequent observation of the car, determined that the driver and the responding officers were contaminated with toxic elements and all were transferred by the Livingston First Aid Squad to St. Barnabas Hospital by 5:56pm.
At the hospital, a staff member trained in contaminates met them outside and treated them. The Hazmat team continued to secure the area by 6:51pm.
The Hazmat team, the Livingston Fire Department and officers from the the NJ State Police and the Essex County Sheriff's Office - along with an agent from the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) - continued to work through the night and by 9:44pm the officers left the scene and declared the area to be safe.
"For anything like this,
we have to be extremely careful,"Dippold expressed.
Although neighbors reported hearing a possible explosion during the arrest, to their knowledge police were unaware of any noise or any connection of a noise to the arrest.