Authorities on Sunday
were searching marinas and lagoons along the New Jersey shore, trying to find a
boat involved in a fatal hit-and-run on the Metedeconk River. The accident took
place at about 1:15 a.m. Sunday in Brick Township, near Herring Island, when a 17-foot
Boston Whaler was struck by another boat that then sped away, said State Police.
The collision killed Robert Post, 49, of Essex Fells and injured four others in
his boat, one of whom called 911 from the boat for help. It was a moonless night
and no one got a description of the offending boat.
"I heard a couple girls screaming, so I didn't get
up 'cause it was dark," said Karen Murchison who lives in a house along the river
where the accident occurred. "Then I heard a speed boat pulling out, going really
"I saw one person who walked off the boat and everybody else was taken off by stretcher
from there," said neighbor Dr. Eric Lehnes. "I think it's horrible how anybody could
do that and take off," added another neighbor named Jeane Bechtold.
People living on the Metedeconk River say speeding is problem. "We
need barrels and people need to be aware that they need to slow down," said Susan Scherler.
Imagine the speed of the boat that caused this damage.
Police Search for the Perp
All day Sunday, Brick Township police asked
the public for help. Sgt. Julian Castellanos, of the NJ State Police said, "We appeal
to that person to please come forward."
An extensive search of marinas and docks along the Metedeconk River in New Jersey
was carried out all day Sunday but no boat was found.
Driver Comes Forward
Then, on Monday morning State Police announced that the owner and operator of the
boat contacted them through his lawyer. The man, whose name has not been released,
allegedly told investigators he knows he struck something but “didn't knew it was
a group of people.”
The boat was found in a garage in Brick Township, it was reported. News sources
describe the boat as a “27-foot cigarette boat.” It is typical in news reports about
high-performance boats to have them described as “cigarettes”, but there is no reason
to think that was actually the brand involved in this case.
The lessons from this sad story are obvious. To find out what you can do to
help prevent accidents like this
once, please read the adjacent editorial.