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Drivers hospitalized after morning-rush crashes in Stafford, Manchester

Single-car crashes in rainy Manchester and Stafford this morning, within less than two hours of each other, send both drivers to hospitals, leave behind destruction, and draw response from Jersey Central Power and Light (JCP&L) crews.

Single-car crash, Manchester Township, 1-26-17 (Manchester PD)
Single-car crash, Manchester Township, 1-26-17 (Manchester PD)

One inattentive moment in Stafford

The first was reported at 6:59 AM in Stafford, on Route 9 near Julian Court in the township’s Cedar Run section. Daniel Wright, 54, a Cedar Run resident, was admitted to Southern Ocean Medical Center for a wrist injury termed serious, after his car slammed and snapped a utility pole.

According to police, Wright’s attention to the road was momentarily distracted. The 2008 Jeep Wrangler veered off the highway and into the pole, bringing down power lines and forcing drivers caught up behind the spot to wait or snake gingerly through a thin detour while JCP&L crews replaced the pole and lines.

Wright was cited for careless driving.

Three houses and a tree in Manchester

At about 8:30 AM in Manchester, a Leisure Village West woman’s car careened out of control as she left her driveway, impacting three houses and a tree and rolling over completely.

Police said that Maria T. Pannizzo, 90, was rushed to Community Medical Center in Toms River after her 2002 Toyota Camry hurtled to a stop.

Single-car crash, Manchester Township, 1-26-17 (Manchester PD)
Single-car crash, Manchester Township, 1-26-17 (Manchester PD)

Preliminary investigations, police said, indicated that Pannizzo over-accelerated after backing out of her Yorkshire Court driveway onto Buckingham Drive, smashing the side of 60A Buckingham.

She threw the car into reverse gear, accelerated onto Buckingham, left the pavement again and rammed the sun rooms of 1C and 1D Yorktown Court.

Police said she then engaged the drive gear, crossed over Buckingham, and drove several hundred feet along grass on the roadside before hitting the tree. The impact forced her car to roll over 360 degrees.

Police said Pannizzo appeared not to be secured by a seat belt. She was treated for a possible broken arm and hand, and complained of pain, police said. JCP&L responded to the houses along with staffers of Leisure Village Maintenance and the township Building Department.

Both collisions remain under investigation.

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