LACEY — A head-on crash between a dump truck and a car on Route 539 killed a woman on Friday morning, according to township police.

Chief Michael C. DiBella said that a Lexus driven by a 37-year-old Staten Island woman was speeding north about 6 a.m. when her car hit into a southbound dump truck and burst into flames, witnesses told police.

"By all accounts, it does not appear the initial impact was survivable," DiBella said. The woman was not identified pending notification of family.

The impact of the crash heavily damaged the truck's fuel tank, spilling a "significant" amount of diesel fuel. The driver of the dump truck, Sergio Pernilla, 37, of Hamilton, suffered minor injuries.

The crash closed the road from Route 72 to Harry Wright Boulevard in Manchester for most of the day and was still closed as of 4 p.m.

The road, which borders the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, is a popular shortcut between the Garden State Parkway in southern Ocean County and Route 195. Truckers and cars routinely exceed the posted 50 mph speed limit. This appears to be the first fatal crash on the road this year.

A traffic enforcement program between May and September 2019 by the Ocean County Sheriff's Office resulted in 674 stops, 287 summonses and 22 criminal charges.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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