On Monday morning, a tragic multi-vehicle crash took place in Jersey City, claiming the lives of three individuals. Additionally, one woman is currently in critical condition and fighting for her life. The incident has left the community in mourning and serves as a somber reminder of the importance of safe driving practices.
According to Eyewitness News, the roadway where the incident occurred has a troubling track record of fatal accidents. This has left many community members questioning the lack of action taken to prevent such tragedies from happening.
According to authorities, the vehicles crashed into each other along Paterson Plank Road near Congress Street shortly after 12:30 in the morning.
According to authorities, a Kia Amanti was forcefully pushed against the wall when a BMW SUV collided with it head-on at the intersection.
Upon arriving at the scene, authorities confirmed that the driver of the Kia, who has been identified as Dylan Weidenfeld, a 26-year-old resident of Jersey City, had tragically passed away.
In a statement, Weidenfeld – who served as an actor and artistic director of Plays-in-the-Park – expressed the following.
It brings immense sadness to all of us at Plays-in-the-Park to hear of Dylan’s passing. He was not only a talented singer and actor, but also a dear friend to all of us. Dylan’s presence on our stage always brought great joy and energy, and his absence will be felt deeply throughout the theatre community in Middlesex County and beyond. Our hearts go out to his loved ones during this difficult time, and we will always cherish the memories we shared with him. Dylan’s passing is a great loss to us all, and we will miss him dearly.
At the time of the accident, there were five individuals in the BMW. Sadly, a female passenger who was sitting at the back was declared dead at the scene, while a male backseat passenger was taken to Jersey City Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead.
The public is still unaware of their identities as they have not been disclosed yet.
The female passenger seated in the backseat is currently in critical condition at Jersey City Medical Center. She is 19 years old and receiving necessary medical attention to aid in her recovery. Our thoughts and prayers are with her and her loved ones during this difficult time.
According to reports, the 23-year-old male driver of the BMW and his female passenger who was sitting in the front seat both sustained injuries in the accident. Fortunately, the injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.
Over the course of the past seven years, there have been eight tragic deaths on the hill of Paterson Plank Road. This particular stretch of the road is known for its blind curve, which has proven to be a dangerous obstacle for drivers.
As part of the Local Safety Program by the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, Hudson County has been granted over $53.3 million in federal funding to upgrade its infrastructure. Among the county’s projects receiving funding is the Paterson Plank Road safety improvement project, which is set to receive a grant of $12 million.
The ongoing work at Paterson Plank Road has incorporated various safety measures such as rumble stripes in the center of the roadway and across the lanes before the curve. Additionally, a high friction surface treatment has been applied to the road to enhance traction. To ensure safe driving, slow 25 mph signs have been installed both at the top and bottom of the hill.
Jersey City’s Safe Streets has issued the following statement:
It’s unfathomable that a 25 mph road could become the site of such a horrific fatal crash. Despite a $12 million grant awarded to Hudson County to increase safety measures along this stretch, improvements have yet to be fully implemented. The urgency for change on high-injury streets has been echoed by safe streets advocates for years. This sense of urgency has only been reinforced by the tragedy that occurred on Paterson Plank Road, where a 2020 study revealed a higher rate of crashes compared to other county roads, with cyclists and pedestrians being at an elevated risk of severe injury or death. With three lives lost, it’s imperative that our leaders at all levels of government take action before any more lives are needlessly impacted.
In August, the county introduced a Vision Zero task force that aims to find effective measures to prevent road accidents. Road safety advocates have long been concerned about Paterson Plank Road, which has gained notoriety for its high incidence of accidents.
The task force is currently exploring various solutions to enhance safety on the road, with one potential option being the installation of a median to reduce head-on collisions. It’s important to note that the task force values community input, as opinions may differ on the most effective approach to improving safety measures.
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