Intoxicated driver strikes Monroe Twp. officer

According to the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office, 33-year-old Jesse Petryk, of Monroe Township, struck an officer’s patrol car as well as the officer with his Hyundai Santa Fe. The incident happened shortly after 9:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Monroe Township officer, Anthony Vezza, is a patrolman. He had stopped a Ford Fusion on westbound Black Horse Pike near Corkery Lane where the incident happened. When Petryk struck the officer’s patrol car, the vehicle was pushed into the Fusion.

After the accident, Vezza was hospitalized for treatment of injuries. He suffered from a broken leg and knee injury. According to prosecutors, he was in stable condition by Sunday night.

The Ford Fusion stopped by the officer had two people inside. They both suffered injuries and were hospitalized.s

According to prosecutors, Petryk is facing several charges including driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, and assault by auto.

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Man involved in DWI crash that injured an officer being sought

David McAvaddyHAMILTON TWP., N.J. – 41-year-old David McAvaddy of Egg Harbor Township, who was involved in a DWI crash, is being sought by Hamilton Township police.

The incident that happened earlier this spring resulted in the injury of one of the officers with the Hamilton Township police. An arrest warrant for McAvaddy was issued by a judge on Wednesday. A photo of McAvaddy was also released in the news with the warrant.

According to police reports, the crash happened on 25 April at 12:18 am on Route 40.

According to investigators McAvaddy struck Officer James Longo’s vehicle when he was on routine patrol. Longo suffered several injuries to his shoulder, back and arm. His SUV was heavily damaged in the crash. The officer was treated at Atlantic Regional Medical Center and returned to work last week.

McAvaddy faces several charges including reckless driving, assault by auto and driving while intoxicated.

The suspect is a white male, 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs approximately 170 pounds. McAvaddy has green eyes.

Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts is asked to contact Detective Frank Schalek at (609) 625-2700 ext. 567.

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The Tracey Morgan Tragedy

During this past weekend on the New Jersey Turnpike, a tractor trailer slammed into the bus in which comedian Tracey Morgan was traveling.  This crash resulted in the death of comedian James McNair, serious injuries to other passengers, and the hospitalization of Tracey Morgan.  Mr. Morgan suffered serious bodily injury and was in critical condition.

Although this was not a DUI related accident, the driver of the truck is rumored to not have slept for 24 hours prior to the crash.  As a result of alleged inattentiveness, the driver of the truck drove into the rear of the bus, causing it to flip over several times.

The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office in New Jersey, charged the driver with vehicular homicide (N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5) and assault by auto (N.J.S.A.  2C:12-1).  To prove vehicular homicide, the State must only show that the vehicle was driven in a reckless manner and caused the death of another.  “Proof that the defendant fell asleep while driving or was driving after having been without sleep for a period in excess of 24 consecutive hours may give rise to an inference that the defendant was driving recklessly.”

Recent studies have shown that drowsy driving is as dangerous as drunk driving. Drowsy driving accidents typically happen at night, but AAA reported that 25% of drowsy driving accidents happen during the afternoon.   High-speed highways, such as the New Jersey Turnpike, are where drowsy driving accidents usually occur. Most of these accidents involve drivers who do not try to avoid hitting the other vehicle.

In a 1997 sleep-alcohol study, researchers found that, after 17 hours of wakefulness, a driver was affected in the same manner way as a person with a blood alcohol concentration of .05%.  After 24 hours of wakefulness, the driver behaved as if he had a BAC of .10%.

Approximately 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries and more than 100,000 accidents each year are attributed to drowsy driving by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).