MANCHESTER – One man is dead following a head on, two-vehicle crash on Route 70 in Manchester that closed a major stretch of road for several hours, according to police.
Manchester Township Police Lieutenant Vincent Manco confirmed 59-year-old Louis Zuffanti of Manchester was pronounced dead at the scene in the Sunday night accident. Police said he was wearing his seatbelt and his airbags deployed, but he died from the significant injuries he suffered in the collision.
Police were called to the area of Route 70 and Green Acres Road around 6:06 p.m.
Upon arrival, officers observed a 2017 Subaru Forester, with heavy front end damage in the eastbound lane of State Highway 70, and a 2000 Honda Accord, with the front end and passenger side detached from the vehicle in the westbound lane of State Highway 70.
According to police, Zuffanti was driving the Honda on 70 when he crossed the center line and entered the eastbound travel lane. The Subaru Forester was traveling eastbound on State Highway 70 and collided head-on with the Honda.
The driver of the Subaru, identified as 51 year old Joaquim Deoliveira, of Toms River, was traveling alone and wearing his seat belt at the time of the collision. The front, side curtain, and knee airbags inside the vehicle deployed and he sustained non-life threatening injuries. Deoliveira was transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune for treatment and evaluation of his injuries.
Assisting at the scene were detectives from the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigations Unit, EMTs from Quality Medical Transport, paramedics from MONOC, firefighters from both the Ridgeway and Manchester Volunteer Fire Departments, the NJ DOT Diversion Team, and the Ocean County Medical Examiner’s Office.
The investigation into the crash is ongoing, but at this point, vehicle speed and weather conditions appear to be contributing factors.
The roadway was closed for several hours while officers conducted the investigation.
This crash is being investigated by Patrolman Michael O’Hara, Patrolman Michael Anderson, and Sergeant Antonio Ellis of the department’s Traffic Safety Unit.