FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP — A woman was killed Wednesday afternoon in a three-vehicle crash on Route 9.

The victim was driving one of the vehicles involved in the crash around 1 p.m. near Craig Road at the Freehold Township-Manalapan border, according to Chris Swendeman, spokesman for the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office.

A male passenger was critically injured as was the driver of a second vehicle, according to Swendeman. The driver and passenger in a third vehicle were not injured.

Crash scene on Route 9 at Craig Road in Freehold Township (Kim Slater Kesil)

Swendeman did not disclose the identity of anyone involved pending notification of family.

The crash happened in front of a shopping center that includes Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond and Modell's.

Freehold Township Police Department's traffic safety unit and the Monmouth County Serious Collision Analysis Response are investigating.

Route 9 was closed in both directions for nearly four hours, creating large traffic backups. The roadway reopened about 5 p.m.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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