At approximately 5:45 AM on Tuesday, Toms River police were dispatched to the area of Route 37 E and Marian Street, in reference to a male party wandering in the street in the westbound lanes. Moments later dispatch received another call that a pedestrian was struck in the eastbound lanes of Route 37.
Upon the officers’ arrival, they located the pedestrian deceased in the shoulder of Route 37 E, eastbound, and the involved vehicle in the parking lot of Pine Belt Nissan.
The initial investigation revealed that pedestrian, Joseph L. Witty Jr., 39, of Toms River, was walking south across Route 37E and was nearly struck by passing vehicles in the westbound lanes. As he continued over the median and back onto the highway he was struck by an oncoming vehicle. The driver was traveling eastbound in the right lane of Route 37 E. Evidence on scene indicated that Mr. Witty was in the travel lane when he was struck, and not in a crosswalk, or on the shoulder. There was no indication of cell phone use or impairment by the driver at the time of the crash.
The accident is under investigation by Toms River Traffic Safety Officer Adam Koeppen. Also assisting on scene was the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, Ocean County Sheriff’s Department, and the New Jersey State DOT Diversion Team. There are no charges against the driver.