STAFFORD — A 15-year-old New Jersey girl is in critical condition after being struck by a car while crossing a road in Manahawkin on Wednesday night.

Township police responded to a report of a pedestrian struck on Route 72 near West Bay Avenue at 7:10 p.m.

An investigation at the scene indicated a 2012 black Toyota Tacoma driven by Dale Ritche, 22, of Manahawkin, was merging onto Route 72.

Ritchie’s vehicle struck the teen girl from Barnegat, identified on a GoFundMe page as Makiah.

She had been attempting to cross Route 72 from the Holiday Inn with a group of friends when she was struck.

The teen was taken to Southern Ocean Medical Center and later flown to Jersey Shore Medical Center with head and lower body injuries.

During the investigation, Route 72 westbound was limited to one lane of travel for approximately six hours. Ritchie’s car was towed from the scene.

So far, no charges have been filed.

Coworkers of Makiah’s mother, Tiffany Worthy have set up a GoFundMe to help the family in their time of need. The fundraiser’s organizer, Milena Rooney, said Worthy is a long-time team member and friend and has provided care to those in need for the last 15 years.

“As a member of our work family, she is well known to everyone here on campus for her loving heart and soul. Now is the time for us to repay her kindness; we are looking to raise money to help support her and her family while Makiah recovers,” Rooney wrote.

Jen Ursillo is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at

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