Driver wound up on wrong side of Parkway, causing wreck, cops say
ABERDEEN — A man's car wound up on the wrong side of the Garden State Parkway on Saturday, causing a three-car wreck that injured three adults and six children, officials said.
The crash, near Exit 117 and Route 36, left the northbound express lanes closed for about three hours, causing traffic jams for miles.
Nicholis C. Alfano, 35, of Hazlet, was driving south in his 2006 Jeep Cherokee about 11:02 a.m. when he went off the road, crossed the grass median and headed the wrong way into northbound traffic, State Police said.
Alfano hit a 2014 Honda Pilot, causing debris that struck a 2014 Honda Accord. One of the vehicles ended upside-down on the roadway.
Troopers on Saturday evening were still investigating why Alfano went off the road. He has not been charged with any crime or traffic violations.
Update, May 17: State Police have still not said why Alfano's vehicle left the road. They directed New Jersey 101.5 to file a public records request for more information.
Alfano was taken by helicopter to a hospital with serious injuries.
His passenger, James J. Cotugo, 42, of Union Beach, suffered "moderate injuries," troopers said.
The Pilot driver, 59-year-old Union Beach resident Stephen Roberson, also suffered moderate injuries. He was driving six children, ranging in age from 7 to 16, who suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
The Accord driver appears to have walked away unscathed.
An earlier version of this post described Nicholis C. Alfano as driving on the wrong side of the road, and described him as a wrong-way driver, according to New Jersey State Police. Police officials have not said how he wound up on the wrong side of the road, and directed New Jersey 101.5 to file a public records request for more information.
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.