This past weekend turned deadly for Ocean County Residents and Tourists alike.

Starting with the death of a father, while his 3 children and wife were home on Friday June 21st, in Lakewood, NJ. These unconfirmed sources said that the father was shot while trying to protect his family and the details from officials are sparse.

On Friday, June 21, 2019 at approximately 10:30 p.m., Lakewood Township Police responded to a residence in Lakewood for a report of a shooting inside the residence.  Lakewood Township Police Officers found a 36 year-old male victim suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department Crime Scene Investigation Unit responded to the residence.  The victim was transported to Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus where he was pronounced dead.

Bradley D. Billhimer — Ocean County Prosecutor

According to a BOLO sent over the MOCIB system, police were looking for a suspect described as a heavy-set white male, who possibly goes by the name of “plug”. They were also looking for 2 possible vehicles, a blue newer model BMW or a blue/back pickup truck. No tags were given for either vehicle.

Early on Saturday Morning (About 6:00am on June 22nd) Ship Bottom police were advised about an erratic driver in a four door Toyota that had passed officers in another jurisdiction doing in excess of 100mph on Long Beach Blvd.

Officers from Ship Bottom as well as from another jurisdiction observed the Toyota at a safe distance as it entered Ship Bottom and became involved in a motor vehicle accident at the intersection of Long Beach Blvd and 11th Street.

A preliminary investigation revealed that the driver of the Toyota, who was a 60 year old make from Conshohocken, PA was traveling at an extreme rate of speed when his vehicle impacted a Roselle Garbage Truck and a Ford pickup. Both vehicles impacted were stopped at a red traffic signal at the intersection. The dump truck was in the right lane while the pickup was in the left.

The driver of the Toyota was transported to Southern Ocean Medical Center (SOMC) where he was pronounced deceased and Long Beach Blvd was closed from 9th Street to 12th Street for approximately five hours.

As if two death’s weren’t enough, this tragedy was followed up with a crash on the Garden State Parkway just north of Exit 91 that closed the parkway down for three hours on Saturday June 22nd in Brick, NJ. The accident claimed the life of a 15-year-old girl according to authorities. She was killed while sitting in the back of an SUV that had pulled over onto the shoulder. Another vehicle slammed into it. The teen, identified as Rachel Upright was pronounced dead at the scene.

It is unknown why the Ford Explorer veered into the shoulder colliding with both a Hyundai Santa Fe and a Honda CR-V that were stopped on the northbound side around mile marker 93.3.

The drivers were outside of the vehicles when the crash occurred, but two passengers were inside the Hyundai, including Rachel Upright.

The investigation as to why the the two cars were pulled over, and to why the Ford Explorer went into the shoulder is still ongoing.

To top it all off, on Sunday Night (June 23rd) just as the weekend was coming to an end, Ender Lopez-Perez, 20 of Little Egg Harbor, NJ died in a crash that happened on Warren Grove Rd in Barnegat. Ender Lopez-Perez was driving a 2011 Chevrolet Avalanche that left the roadway and struck a tree. The lone passenger was a 20 year old male who was also from Little egg harbor. The passenger was transported to Southern Ocean Medical Center as a precaution, evaluated and then released.

During the response to the Barnegat crash, a member of the Barnegat Volunteer Fire Company was transported to Southern Ocean Medical Center for a medical evaluation according to Keith A. Germain of the Barnegat Police Department.

As summer ramps up, please remember to take extra time, and care when driving. Your life is worth more than getting somewhere on time, and please call a Cab, Uber or Lyft if you have been consuming alcohol.