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Man Airlifted From Head-On Crash on Rt. 206

Accident shuts down highway for over two hours Tuesday.

A head-on collision closed Route 206 between Cooper Lane and Old Chester Gladstone Road for nearly two hours on Tuesday afternoon, with one motorist needing to be cut out from his vehicle.

A commercial van owned by Cushman & Wakefield was traveling northbound when it crossed over the double yellow lines and crashed into a 2000 Black Lincoln Navigator operated by a 39-year-old Eslinde Vertil of Hackettstown, according Chester Township Police Lt. Tom Williver.

According to police, Jason Mooney, age 39, of Flanders needed to be extricated from his vehicle after the crash by members of the Chester Volunteer and Peapack-Gladstone Fire Departments. 

Williver said Mooney was airlifted to Morristown Medical Center by North Star Medevac to be treated for his injuries, while Vertil was transported to Morristown Medical Center by the Chester First Aid Squad to be treated for her injuries. 

The cause of the accident is still under investigation. Route 206 was closed for just over two hours and was re-opened just before the start of rush hour.

Editor's note: A previous version of this story stated the accident involved three vehicles. While a third car was a factor in the accident, it was not part of the collision.

Frank LaRocca February 12, 2013 at 08:48 PM
Believe it or not, a lot of times its a deer jumping into the roadway that spooks the drivers.
Stephanie February 12, 2013 at 08:52 PM
MaryLynn, I feel the same way. It's making me sick to my stomach. I had just travelled the same stretch of 206 minutes earlier!!!
Stephanie February 12, 2013 at 08:56 PM
or maybe a phone call or a important text came through. I travel 206 almost every day..and I've lost count with the number of vehicles that have veered into my lane.
Michael K Mc Kell February 12, 2013 at 09:03 PM
Its not the road but rather the drivers not paying attention. I am betting a hand held device is involved.
Bonnie Smith February 12, 2013 at 09:12 PM
For years these types of accidents have happened. I avoid 206 whenever possible. All it takes is a person taking their eye off the road, @ 45 or 50mph, and no median. I'm always looking out for the "other guy" on 206.
PD73 February 12, 2013 at 09:41 PM
If possible, I absolutely avoid 206. The most dangerous road I travel. People just cannot stay in their lane when they are "distracted". Everyone needs to see this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9krX9fHAfHM
Deb Geddes February 12, 2013 at 10:13 PM
are they checking the cell phone records from these accidents???
eyes on the road,dummy. February 12, 2013 at 11:21 PM
That is one dangerous stretch of road. The guy with the totaled navigator should be happy, that ride went out of style a long time ago. Now he gets to buy a set of wheels that doesnt look like it belongs to jay-z. circa 1999.
DMS February 13, 2013 at 03:03 AM
Why don't we wait to make sure these people are okay before we start checking cell phone records. Stuff happens all the time that doesn't involve hand held devices...sunglare, animals, ice, mechanical failure, medical issues...so before we start acting as the judge and jury and condeming people before the facts come out, why don't we all just hope and pray that everyone is okay and survives to tell what happened.
NEW February 13, 2013 at 03:21 AM
Even not distracted, I watch people just driving too close to the yellow line, especially when the road curves. I am surprised there are not more accidents in Chester, between the Shell Station and the Dunkin Donuts. There, cars have to cross over four lanes of highway plus the turn lane just to get to the other side of town. The only other option is to drive through the Rite Aide or Streets of Chester parking lots, which many people do but is illegal and dangerous. In the morning, it is downright dangerous to pedestrians and drivers alike, as the parking lots turn into roadways.
Tracy Buckner February 13, 2013 at 12:48 PM
Reading this made me sick to my stomach as the exact same thing happened to me 10 years ago. Exact! Same spot n 206. A young man crossed over the double line heading north trying to pass a slower vehicle. I was airlifted and endured 3 years of surgeries and physical therapy. That year I believe there were countess other accidents, two of them fatal. The only thing that helps is police presence on that road. Those of us who live here know the danger. It seems to be the folks passing through who need a lesson.
Hookerman February 13, 2013 at 02:34 PM
Route 206 is very similar to Rte 46 in Mt. Olive... it's a road that was not designed for the volume and speed of traffic that we have today. Without a median between the two directions, it makes head on collisions far more likely.
Kelly February 13, 2013 at 02:41 PM
My brother in law was the one airlifted!!!!! You should choose your words wisely!!! You have no idea what our family has endured yesterday and you never know who is reading these comments!!! Im appalled to see so many of these rude comments,!! Jason we love you and are praying for you as well as the other families.
stacie bohr February 13, 2013 at 03:12 PM
I wish your brother-in-law well, Kelly. And you are so right about people's idiotic assumptions and opinions when they don't have clue one as to what happened.
Pam February 13, 2013 at 03:12 PM
Exactly Kelly, thoughts are with you!
Kelly February 13, 2013 at 03:41 PM
Thanks Stacie and Pam
Not Domino February 13, 2013 at 04:01 PM
Stacie, I don't know what happened, and I'm not making any 'idiotic assumptions.' But since you seem to have the ability to discern an idiotic assumption from a non-idiotic assumption, could you please rank the following possible causes of this accident in order of probability: 1. Jason swerved into oncoming traffic to avoid an animal 2. Jason fell asleep 3. Jason had a medical issue or became unconcious for medical reasons 4. The steering mechanism failed in Jason's vehicle 5. Jason was momentarily distracted and took his eyes off the road and did not realise he was crossing the dividing line 6. Something else (please explain) We all use this road (and 46), and we are all shocked and horrified each time an accident like this happens. The fact is that there are too many of them. In fact, even one is one is too many. I am sure Kelly and Tracy would agree. I pray for a speedy and full recovery for Jason and Eslinde. And, unrelated to this accident, I pray that everyone who gets behind the wheel of a vehicle remembers each time they drive that they are operating a machine that is not just a means of transportation, but also a potentially deadly weapon requiring just as much carefully focused attention as any other potentially deadly weapon.
helene elbaum February 13, 2013 at 04:13 PM
just so you know that it was a woman who drove this navigator and she was pregnant AND she lost her unborn baby. You are an idiot
Nodrog February 13, 2013 at 08:29 PM
That is a really insensitive thing to say! That poor woman lost her baby! Shame on you!!
Russ Crespolini (Editor) February 13, 2013 at 08:40 PM
Unfortunately, we have an update on this story. http://patch.com/A-1T8C
Not Again! February 13, 2013 at 09:55 PM
C'mon people - the post was made BEFORE it was public knowledge that the poor woman lost her unborn child. Enough with the High Horses. Yes in retrospect it looks horrible, but prior it was pretty funny actually. Welcome to the first amendment.
Ohmy February 13, 2013 at 10:31 PM
Thanks to the one literate person, (not again) and can it to the rest. I don't make silly comments when people die. The original story had no reported injuries, and the damage would indicate as much.
Young blood February 13, 2013 at 10:52 PM
Bet you feel like a real A**hole right know, and i hope you do.
Love LV February 14, 2013 at 12:20 AM
cell phone is my guess
Karen Ferry- Ferrone February 14, 2013 at 01:15 AM
Are you serious for leaving this kind of comment. First off its childish...people drive what they can afford. Now that we know that an unborn child died you should beg the patch to take down your ridiculous comment. Your an a**.
Karen Ferry- Ferrone February 14, 2013 at 01:16 AM
Well, the woman isn't ok...so now we need to check the man driving the white van's cell phone records....
Karen Ferry- Ferrone February 14, 2013 at 01:19 AM
As well as your own family, please pray for the baby that was killed.
stacie bohr February 14, 2013 at 02:17 AM
@Not Domino...I most certainly can discern between idiotic and non-idiotic. You're points are actually quite valid and in line with what mine was in my post. People are so quick to assume that someone did "something wrong" and there is an immediate blame. And then the moron who said that whomever was driving the truck (who just so happens to be the mother who lost her baby) is lucky because now she can get a new truck. Yup...those people are idiots. Save your "points" for someone who doesn't get it. I'm actually on the same page as you. How about you read between the lines considering I was addressing Kelly, who's brother-in-law, was involved in the accident and expressed disgust considering it is a family member of HERS and she was quite understandably upset. Spare me, Not Domino or, Not using your real name...same difference.
Safety 1st February 19, 2013 at 06:10 AM
Well said Karen. ~ God Bless ALL involved <3
Teri Mac March 05, 2013 at 02:29 PM
Why can't the the DOT or NJ install preventative measures on this recurring dangerous stretch of roadway????? It seems so elementary a conclusion.

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