by Todd Malland
MANCHESTER-On Tuesday, March 6, 2018, at approximately 5:09 pm, officers from the Manchester Township Police Department responded to the area of Route 37 and Northampton Boulevard to investigate the report of an erratic driver who was said to be swerving and who nearly struck the Jersey barrier near Bimini Drive in Toms River. While checking the area, Ptl. Matthew Juralewicz located the suspected vehicle just after it had driven into the woods on Commonwealth Boulevard near Third Street in the Pine Lake Park section of the Township.
Upon arrival, officers observed a brown, 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 pick-up off of the roadway into several trees. The vehicle had extensive front end damage and had several road signs pinned underneath of it.
The initial investigation revealed that upon entering Manchester Township from Toms River, the Dodge Ram continued west on Route 37 through the intersection of Commonwealth Boulevard. Shortly thereafter, the vehicle turned onto First Street at which point the driver lost control of his vehicle and collided head with a 2017, Buick Encore which was parked in the street. The driver then fled the scene, turning left onto Commonwealth Boulevard. Once on Commonwealth, the driver left the roadway and drove onto the front lawn of a residence where he struck and destroyed a brick mailbox. The vehicle then reentered the roadway and continued north on Commonwealth Boulevard. At the nearby sharp right curve in the road, the driver failed to maintain his lane and ran off of the roadway taking down multiple street signs before colliding into several trees.
The driver of the Dodge, identified as 60-year-old, Richard Mosca of Manchester, was alert and conscious when officers arrived and had to be helped from his vehicle. He was not wearing his seatbelt at the time of the crash and both front and side curtain air bags deployed. Mosca sustained significant head injuries as a result of the crash and was airlifted to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune for treatment and evaluation. As of last evening, he was listed in stable condition. Officers conducting the investigation determined that Mosca was impaired due to alcohol and/or drugs at the time of the crash. Additionally, he was also found to be in possession of heroin. As a result, appropriate charges were filed by Ptl. Juralewicz. The roadway was closed for several hours while officers conducted their investigation and the scene was cleared.
Assisting at the scene were EMTs from Manchester Volunteer First Aid Squad, paramedics from MONOC, and 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.