Seaside bridge closed during crash between elderly woman and street sweeper


TOMS RIVER, NJ – An accident that occurred on the Mathis Bridge connecting Pelican Island to mainland Toms River sent an elderly Lavallette woman to the hospital.

According to the Toms River Police Department, on Monday, March at approximately 11:00 AM, police units were dispatched to the Mathis Bridge for reports of a motor vehicle accident.

Raffaela Crisp, 89 of Lavalette, was traveling east, in the left lane, over the Mathis Bridge when she changed lanes into the center lane of the bridge and sideswiped an Ocean County Road Department street sweeper, that was in the center lane causing a series of events which resulted in a serious collision.

“Ms. Crisp was unrestrained at the time of the crash and pinned between the dashboard and her seat,” the Toms River Police Department said in a statement. “Toms River Fire Department responded to extricate her from her vehicle.”

Toms River EMS & Robert Wood Johnson MICU treated and transported Ms. Crisp to the landing zone where she was airlifted by Robert Wood Johnson Helicopter to Jersey Shore University Hospital for treatment of her injuries.

The department said Toms River EMS to Community Medical Center transported the driver of the street sweeper for treatment of injuries sustained in the collision.

The Mathis Bridge was closed for a short period to remove vehicles and clean up the scene. The accident is being investigated by Toms River Police Traffic Safety Officer Ryan Fitzgerald.

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