UPDATE: 19-Year-Old Killed in Route 35 Accident Christmas Eve Morning

There were three traffic accidents within two hours on Dec. 24, one of them fatal for a young man from Middletown.

Hazlet Township Police Chief James Broderick has released details about the three motor vehicle accidents that occurred on a one-mile stretch of Route 35 in Hazlet Township on Christmas Eve morning, which caused traffic delays and brief power outages in the area. Here is his report:

Poole Ave. & Route 35, at 7:58 a.m.

The first accident occurred at 7:58 a.m. at the intersection of Poole Avenue and Highway 35. It was a single car accident involving a 2003 Honda that was traveling north on Hwy 35 that struck the center median and then slid across the roadway where it struck a utility pole, breaking the pole into several sections.                 

The driver, Taylor Delepine, 19, of Middletown was transported to Bayshore Community Hospital where he died. (See article.) This accident is still under investigation, but based on preliminary investigation, excessive speed does not appear to be a contributing factor.

Investigation is continuing by Officer Maryann Smith, assisted by Sgt. Scott Mura. The Police Department is requesting that anyone that may have witnessed the accident to please contact Officer Maryann Smith at 732-264-6565, Extension 510.                      

Assisting at the accident scene were Holmdel Police, Hazlet First Aid, North Centerville Fire Company, MONOC Paramedics, and the NJ Department of Transportation Incident Response Unit.                


Route 35 & Bedle Road, 9:45 a.m.          

The second accident occurred at 9:45 a.m. on Hwy 35 South near Bedle Road. It was a 3-vehicle accident. A 2007 Chevrolet  being driven by Steven Gennarelli of Red Bank struck the rear of a 2004 Volkswagen being driven by Shannon Thomas of Jersey City. That vehicle in turn was pushed into the rear of a 2009 Ford being driven by Bernadette Oregan of Keyport. 

The driver of the 2004 Volkwagen was transported to Bayshore Hospital by Hazlet First Aid. This accident was investigated by Officer Michael Tristao.                   

Route 35 near Miller Avenue, 9:49 a.m.

The third accident occurred at 9:49 a.m. on Hwy 35 North near Miller Ave. It was also a 3-vehicle accident. It was a minor accident with no injuries.

A 2008 Ford driven by Edward Mutchler of Freehold and a 2012 Ford driven by Glenn Marie of Middletown were stopped in traffic.  The 2012 Ford was struck in the rear by a 2012 Honda driven by Christopher Trimble of Holmdel. That collision pushed the 2012 Ford into the rear of the 2008 Ford. This accident was investigated by Officer Chris Acevedo.


Original story:

Hazlet Police and volunteers from Hazlet First Aid and North Centerville Fire Company responded to three separate motor vehicle accidents on a one-mile stretch of Route 35 Monday morning, all before 9:45 a.m. 

There were two on the southbound sides of Route 35 -- one just before Holmdel Road intersection, and another at the next intersection at Bethany/Poole Avenue. The third was on the northbound side of 35, in front of T-Mobile. 

Traffic was disrupted and power was briefly knocked out for some users. 

Stephen DeBenedetto December 25, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Basing on the time I lost power, the accident occurred at roughly 830 AM. I'm not blaming anyone, but I've seen hundreds of accidents on the highway and never seen anything like that. Route 35 has been pretty congested recently and I wouldn't exactly call that a speed zone since there is a light and a pretty popular parking lot there with Toys R Us and the gas station. I don't ever remember seeing cars traveling upwards of 50MPH through there. The car that I saw on the northbound side (i was heading southbound) looked like it had been run over by a monster truck. Like someone else said, clear day, dry conditions and you have to be absolutely flying to snap the phone poles the way they were. I do hope everyone is ok, but seeing the destruction, I would say that is unlikely. Sad to see during the holidays or any other time.
Jeff Gollin December 25, 2012 at 03:01 PM
A few years back, I was involved in an accident at Rt 35 and Poole/Bethany. As I turned left from Bethany to go north on Rt.35, out of nowhere there came a car making a right turn from Poole onto Rt 35 who pinned my vehicle to the Jersey barrier separating the northbound and southbound lanes. Sometimee later, it occurred to me that the car turning right onto Rt 35 had missed taking the jughandle entrance onto Rt 35 that would have positioned her vehicle "downstream" from where I had made my turn onto Rt 35 and should have missed me altogether. Instead, the driver passed the jughandle entrance, made a hard-right onto Rt 35 and nailed me. Makes you wonder whether there might be some sign-confusion at the intersection and that, perhaps, there should be a "No Right Turn" sign situated past the jughandle entrance but before the actuual Rt 35 roadway.
Jennifer December 26, 2012 at 09:30 PM
The families read these comments, looking to understand what happened. They are grieving, and it is especially tragic given the age of the driver and the day of the year. May they know some peace, and please, the less speculation the better. It doesn't help.
Susan Kelley December 27, 2012 at 08:46 AM
No matter how this happened, a young man lost his life. My deepest condolences to the Delepine family for your tragic loss of your beloved son.
Deanne December 29, 2012 at 02:17 AM
Exactly - a family is mourning. Pray for them.


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