Devon Smith, 22, of Newark, and Theo Walsh, 23, of East Orange, Killed in Monday Evening Caldwell Car Crash; One Hospitalized in Critical Condition
UPDATED: 6pm Wednesday
CALDWELL, NJ - Monday night at 11:51pm, Caldwell Police, the West Essex First Aid Squad, and the Caldwell Fire Department responded to the scene of a car crash at Mountain Avenue near Hatfield Street in Caldwell. First Responders encountered an overturned vehicle with entrapment and two individuals were taken to the hospital while one other individual died at the scene. The Essex County Prosecutor's Office also responded at the time of the incident.
According to Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray and Caldwell Police Chief James H. Bongiorno, a driver and two passengers were traveling southbound on Mountain Avenue in a 2015 Ford Mustang when they crashed into a telephone pole and a tree at about 11:30pm. The front seat passenger, Theo Walsh, 23, of East Orange was pronounced dead at the scene.
A North Caldwell Police Patrol Officer first noticed the high rate of speed the car was traveling at and while they were calling the information into dispatchers they then heard the crash and reported it immediately. At 3am Tuesday morning, the Fire Department returned to the scene to provide lighting for the investigation which continued until 8:30am; Mountain Avenue remained closed between Elm Road and Forest Avenue.
The driver, Devon Smith, 22, of Newark, was taken to University Hospital where on Tuesday he succumbed to the injuries he sustained in the crash. Smith was in his third year at Kean University. The backseat passenger, 18, a college student also of Newark, sustained serious injuries and remains hospitalized in critical condition. Their name is not being released at this time.
The crash which is being investigated by the Caldwell Police Department and the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force.
John Hannon, 55, of Toms River, Killed in Saturday Morning Plane Crash Behind Kiddie Academy, Passaic Avenue, West Caldwell
UPDATE: 1:30pm Tuesday
The Medical Examiner's office has confirmed the pilot's identity as John Hannon, 55, of Toms River.
WEST CALDWELL, NJ - Saturday morning, at 9:59am, the West Caldwell Police and Fairfield Police were alerted to a plane crash in the wooded area behind Kiddie Academy, located at 810 Passaic Avenue, West Caldwell. Immediately after, West Caldwell Fire Department and the Fairfield Fire Department were dispatched to the scene for a working fire in progress. By 10:03am the West Essex First Aid Squad was dispatched to the crash site as well.
"Officers discovered a single engine Cessna 206
Peter Knudson, spokesman from the National Transportion Safety Board in Washington DC, confirmed with West Essex Now that the plane was a Cessna T206H. Knudson said that there was one person on board, the pilot, and he was killed in the accident. According to Knudson, the plane crashed after takeoff from the Essex County Airport into the rear of Kiddie Academy which is about 1/2 mile away. An investigator from the NTSB arrived in town Saturday afternoon, and the investigation continued with local law authorities early Sunday morning. Knudson also confirmed that fire from the plane itself caused a brush fire to the surrounding area.
West Caldwell Fire Chief Jim Alvine explained to WEN that he saw the plane having problems, called the police, and then sent out a call for mutual aid from Fairfield, Caldwell, Verona and the West Essex First Aid Squad.
"I witnessed the plane coming down and crashing," Alvine commented.
Fairfield Deputy Fire Chief Tim Connolly was the first to reach the burning airplane.
"I was the first one to reach the wreckage," Connolly commented.
Because the plane crashed into the woods, the fire departments were extinguishing both the plane fuel fire and the surrounding area brush fire as well using "Purple K Fire Extiguishers."
Kiddie Academy does offer a summer program for infants to children up to age 12; because the incident occurred on Saturday, the school was closed.
The Caldwell Fire Department provided mutual aid with one engine, and one truck at 10:08am. North Caldwell Police responded to Passaic Avenue for traffic control and North Caldwell Fire Department responded, as well, with one engine. The Verona Fire Department and the Essex County Sheriff's Department also offered mutual aid.
At 10:38am, the Roseland Fire Department and soon after the Essex Fells Fire Department each responded with one engine to the West Caldwell firehouse for coverage.
Because this is an aviation incident, the Federal Aviation Authority and the National Transportation Safety Board are handling the investigation.
According to Paris, it is believed Hannon experienced a mechanical malfunction with the airplane during take-off. The debris has been removed from the crash site.
UPDATED: Monday, 8:50am
WEST CALDWELL, NJ - West Caldwell Police Chief Michael J. Bramhall released further information on Friday evening's incident at Shop Rite, located at 540 Passaic Avenue, West Caldwell.
According to the Chief, at about 7:30pm Friday evening, officers were called to the scene of the grocery store where a vehicle had crashed through the front window. The arriving officers found a 2002 Red Cadillac which was determined to have been driven in reverse, near the front doors of the business.
Neither the driver, Ilona Rohonyi, 82, from West Caldwell, nor anyone else at the scene reported any injuries.
Both the West Essex First Squad and the West Caldwell Fire Department reported to the scene to assist. Eventually, the vehicle was removed and the building was determined to be structurally safe; ShopRite was open the next morning on schedule.
"The investigation revealed that the driver, while backing out of a parking space, mistakenly pressed on the gas instead of the brake
"No employees or customers were injured,"
West Caldwell Officer Steven Huster conducted the investigation; Rohonyi was said to have been visibly shaken up but reportedly was not exhibiting any visible signs of injury. She was issued a summons for careless driving and her information was submitted to NJ DMV for driver re-testing.
WEST ESSEX, NJ - Late Saturday night, the National Weather Service issued a Freezing Rain Advisory for northeast New Jersey warning of hazardous travel conditions through Sunday morning. The Advisory was expected to be in effect from 3am until 8am Sunday morning, but it was gradually extended until 1pm Sunday afternoon.
"Light freezing rain and drizzle will make
Reports began to come into West Essex Now by early morning saying the roads were extremely hazardous.
"Black ice everywhere from Bloomfield to West Caldwell.
By 8:30am, about 10 vehicles were already disabled along Mountain Avenue and there were numerous accidents occurring throughout the area. Area police and surrounding towns used their emergency alert systems within the next ten minutes to warn their residents to remain at home and they would continue to do so throughout the morning.
Over the next hour, Eagle Rock Avenue, Bloomfield Avenue, Passaic Avenue, Eisenhower Parkway and Route 280 were all closed completely or intermittently as accidents arose. Vehicles were reported to have collided into each other, hit poles, gone onto lawns and spun around onto oncoming traffic. There were countless injuries and multiple airbags deployed; in general, drivers were proving it was unsafe for any but emergency vehicles to be out on the road.
Pedestrians were equally affected; falls with injuries from icy stairs, sidewalks, parking lots and driveways were reported all over the area.
So many accidents happened in such a short period of time that First Responders resorted to the rare practice of "triaging" - which usually happens during extreme emergencies when large amounts of wounded or ill patients are assigned degrees of urgency. By 9am, Roseland and West Essex First Aid EMTs were responding to emergencies all over the area, while at the same time their emergency vehicles were attempting to circumvent the dangerous roads to transport patients to local hospitals and trauma centers in Newark. All available EMTs were asked to report for duty and mutual aid from Wayne was also requested.
This is only a sampling of accidents which occurred throughout the region:
Reports of abandoned cars left where they had crashed came in from all over. By 11:30am, there were so many accidents and disabled vehicles along Eagle Rock Avenue that residents were opening their homes to shelter people as they waited for assistance.
Local religious organizations including St. Peter's Church in Essex Fells, LifeSource Church in West Caldwell and Our Lady of the Lake in Verona canceled morning prayer services or afternoon gatherings.
The ice storm affected everyone in the Metropolitan Area. Governor Chris Christie announced that speed restrictions of 35-45mph were in effect on the NJ Turnpike by 9:15am. NJ Transit and DeCamp buses were all cancelled until the afternoon due to the icy road conditions. At 1:30pm, the mutual aid agreement between New York City and NJ was activated and those EMT teams, which were available, waited at the Hudson Tunnel to assist with the City's backlog of 911 calls.
At 1pm, the Freezing Rain Advisory was cancelled while NOAA then issued a Flood Warning which was in effect until 6pm Sunday afternoon. Briefly, thundershowers came into the area adding to the day's weather challenges.
All the roads in the area were open by 1:45pm. The roads remain wet and temperatures will continue below freezing tonight. At 5:50pm, there was an accident, with injuries, on Grandview Avenue, in North Caldwell.
Fairfield Police and West Essex First Aid Squad Avert Near Tragedy, Thursday, on Pier Lane; Public Reminded of the Need for Carbon Monoxide Detectors
by Carolyne Volpe Curley / Carolyne@WestEssexNOW.com
FAIRFIELD, NJ - Early Thursday morning at 4am, the Fairfield Police Department responded to a Pier Lane residence to provide medical assistance to a 47-years old woman who was experiencing convulsions. While she was being cared for, three other members of the household reported to the officers that they were light-headed, having difficulty breathing and suffering from headaches. The West Essex First Aid Squad soon after arrived.
"Members of the West Essex First Aid Squad arrived on scene
After the EMTs expressed to police that Carbon Monoxide Poisoning was likely the cause of the emergencies, the house was immediately evacuated. Eventually, four individuals were transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Paterson for treatment; no emergency responders required any treatment.
Manna stated that the source of the carbon monoxide was traced to a faulty hot water heater in the basement; there were no working carbon monoxide detectors in the home.
“This situation emphasizes all too clearly the importance
Carbon Monoxide Sources
Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas which is produced by appliances that give off combustion fumes, particularly those that burn fuels including:
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Symptoms
The Fairfield Police Departments wants to alert the public that Carbon monoxide poisoning occurs when an individual inhales too much carbon monoxide and not enough oxygen and at that point serious tissue damage can occur. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include:
These symptoms can be particularly dangerous for anyone who is asleep or intoxicated.
Carbon monoxide poisoning can lead to:
For Assisting in Saving the Life of Caldwell Sgt. Fred Arnold, Caldwell Police, West Caldwell Police and West Essex First Aid Squad First Responders Recognized with Mayor's Award, Tuesday
From left: West Caldwell Police Officers: Corporal Lenny Santiago, Captain Gerard Paris, Patrolman Greg Ruesch and Detective Paul Mazzeo, next to West Essex First Aid Squad Captain David Black and Caldwell Mayor Ann Dassing standing with Caldwell Police Officers: Sergeant Fred Arnold, Chief James Bongiorno, Officer Matthew DeAngelo and Lieutenant Demetrious Andrinopoulos Credit: Caldwell Police
CALDWELL, NJ - At Tuesday's meeting of the Caldwell governing body, Mayor Ann Dassing made a special "Mayor's Award" presentation recognizing the efforts of first responders who were credited in saving the life of Caldwell Sgt. Fred Arnold. The officer was on duty, Thursday, June 5, when he suffered a heart attack while driving on Ravine Avenue, West Caldwell. The mayor also expressed gratitude to Caldwell resident Mark Sauer who first reported the incident to police.
While driving, Arnold was able to remain in control of the vehicle; he steered it out of traffic's way, allowing it to rest at a traffic pole. Officers from both Caldwell and West Caldwell police immediately reported to the scene at 1:07pm.
The Caldwell officer was found unresponsive inside of his vehicle and the officers immediately began life-saving measures, soon assisted by the West Essex First Aid Squad.
" I am so grateful that Sergeant Fred Arnold is doing so well
First Responders Recognized
Caldwell Police Officers
West Caldwell Police Officers
West Essex First Aid Squad
Arnold is well-known in Caldwell for his many years of service and for serving as a D.A.R.E. officer at Trinity Academy.
"In the case of someone having a heart attack
At Tuesday's meeting, the Mayor's Award was also presented to Caldwell Police Officers Robert Adams and Officer Candice Marinaro for assisting in saving the life of a Caldwell resident. View Here.
Caldwell Police Department
Chief James H. Bongiorno
1 Provost Square
Caldwell, NJ 07006