3-year-old dies after head-on minivan crash in Freehold, NJ
FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP — One of the three children in a mini-van that was involved in a head-on collision on Thursday has died.
Three vehicles were involved in the crash — a Ford F-350 driven by a 53-year-old man from Little Egg Harbor Township, a Chrysler Pacifica driven by Denise James, 42, of Ocean Township in Ocean County, and a Honda CR-V driven by a 34-year-old Jackson resident.
James was pronounced dead at the scene while her 3-year-old daughter was flown to Jersey Shore University Medical Center, according to acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey.
Two boys in the vehicle, ages 9 and 13, were taken by ambulance for treatment of injuries not believed to be life-threatening.
A GoFundMe page created by the New Jersey Superior Officers Law Enforcement Association identifies James' husband as Lt. Craig James, a correctional police officer. Their 3-year-old, Lily, was taken off life support on Sunday, according to the page.
A family torn apart by tragedy
Association President Eddie Sullivan told New Jersey 101.5 that the crash impacted not just James but all of his members.
"He's pretty devastated," he said. "We are all holding our loved ones a lot closer today. Words can't even describe what happened."
"We all kind of take things for granted that we're going to finish our day. Craig just like all of us figured he was going to do his career, retire and spend a lot more time with family."
James, who works at the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center in the Avenel section of Woodbridge, was thinking about his retirement before the end of the year but a date was not set.
Sullivan said the GoFundMe page was to show support for a member who suffered a tragedy.
"We support our members in everything. Obviously, this is one of the more tragic and unspeakable things we've been involved with," Sullivan said. "Especially nowadays when there's not a whole lot of support and a lot of scrutiny on law enforcement. One bad apple casts a shadow on an entire career."
Previous reporting by Erin Vogt was used in this report.
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