READINGTON — A tow truck operator working on a disabled vehicle in the median of Route 22 was killed after being struck by an SUV that drifted off the highway. The crash also killed the elderly driver of the SUV.

Police said Seth Newton, 26, of Readington, who works for Superior Towing of Readington, was in the center median of the roadway near the Phillps 66 gas station. The driver of a Cadillac Escalade, Gary Vondrasek, 86, of Lebanon, drifted from the westbound lanes into the median, hitting Newton and the unoccupied disabled vehicle.

Newton was pronounced dead at the scene, while Vondrasek was taken to RWJ University Hospital Somerset where he died.

Superior Towing honors Seth Newton
Superior Towing honors Seth Newton (Superior Towing via Facebook)

Condolences for Sean Newton

"Our world was shook yesterday as Mike Gir and I lost one of our employees. Seth Newton was an incredibly thoughtful young man with huge ambitions. Truly one of a kind. There will forever be a piece of our hearts missing at Superior Towing & Transport LLC," Newton's employer wrote on the company's Facebook page.

"The members of the Tewksbury First Aid & Rescue Squad wish to convey our deepest sympathy to the Superior Towing team and the family of Seth Newton," the squad wrote on its Facebook page. "Our thoughts and prayer are with you all at this most difficult time."

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Superior Towing and all of the Superior family on the loss of Mr. Seth Newton," the Flemington-Raritan First Aid and Rescue Squad wrote on its Facebook page.

Readington police ask any witnesses to the crash to call them at 908-534-4031.

Second NJ tow truck driver killed on the job

In Rutherford on Feb. 12, Robert Thornton was struck at a crash scene on Route 3 while loading the second of two cars onto a flatbed. A car careened through the emergency vehicles of an earlier crash and struck Thornton. He died on Feb. 27.

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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