Submitted by Manchester PD
On Monday, December 11, 2017, at approximately 11:48 am, officers from the Manchester Township Police Department responded to the area of mile marker 41 along Route 70 in the Whiting section of the Township to investigate the report of a serious motor vehicle accident involving two vehicles.
Upon arrival, officers observed a red, Toyota Echo on the westbound shoulder of the roadway with heavy front end damage. The vehicle was still occupied and had multiple air bag deployments. The other involved vehicle, a silver Toyota Sienna minivan, was located just into the wood line on the westbound side of the roadway. It had extensive damage to the front and driver’s side.
The initial investigation revealed that the Toyota Echo was traveling east on Route 70 when it crossed the center line and entered the westbound lane of travel. It then continued onto the westbound shoulder and eventually the westbound berm where it collided head-on with the Toyota Sienna which had been traveling west but had attempted to swerve in order to avoid the impact.
The driver of the Toyota Echo, identified as 81-year-old, Gerda Kretschmer of Whiting, sustained serious internal injuries during the collision and needed to be extricated from the vehicle by members of the Whiting Volunteer Fire Company. Kretschmer was transported via ambulance to Community Medical Center in Toms River where she succumbed to her injuries. The driver of the Toyota Sienna, 49-year-old, James A. Canfield of Brick, sustained injuries to his chest and shoulder and was also transported to Community Medical Center for treatment and evaluation of his injuries. The roadway was partially closed for several hours while emergency workers tended to the injured, conducted their investigation and cleared the scene.
Assisting at the scene were members of the Manchester Volunteer Fire Department, EMTs from Quality Medical Transport, and paramedics from MONOC. Also assisting were detectives from the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) Unit. This crash is being investigated by Patrolman Ian Bole of the department’s Traffic Safety Unit.