MANALAPAN — The death of a man who was struck by two vehicles on Route 33 on Wednesday has a township leader more determined than ever to close the nearby facility where he been a patient.

It is the latest death of a patient hit by a vehicle outside the facility in recent years. Other patients in the facility have died from other causes.

The 38-year-old man was crossing the two-lane road in the eastbound lanes near Woodward Road about 7:20 p.m., Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said Thursday.

The Newark man was initially hit by a 2017 Toyota RAV 4 driven by a 32-year-old female from Neptune, according to Gramiccioni. A 2017 Lexus RX following behind, driven by a 54-year-old female from East Windsor, also struck the man. The prosecutor said both drivers stopped and were not injured.

Gramiccioni did not reveal the identities of anyone involved in the crash.

Deputy Mayor Susan Cohen told New Jersey 101.5 that the man who was struck was a resident of the nearby Manalapan Manor residential care facility, formerly known as Marianne Manor.

Prior to Wednesday's fatal crash, three residents had been killed by motor vehicles in front of the building in 2014, 2015 and 2016 as they walked along Route 33, according to Manalapan police.

She said Manalapan residents brought safety vests to be used by patients but they went untouched.

Cohen has been leading efforts by the township to get the state to shut down the facility because of poor conditions, including toilets that are inoperable and cause sewage to back up. She said that there is also an infestation of cockroaches, bedbugs and flies and insufficient supplies of food.

The Township Committee passed a resolution in January urging the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs to revoke the facility's license as it does not believe the owner "is capable or willing to operate a quality facility."

Cohen said the state Department of Community Affairs told her that there are eight residents at the facility but the owners at the meeting told her there were 16 — down from 50 in the fall.

The owners plan to move out the remaining residents, renovate the facility and bring in a "different kind of clientele," Cohen said.

At the meeting that included the Board of Heath, the township attorney, fire and police officials and the township administrator, Cohen said she laid down the law that if the owners do anything without a permit they would be heavily fined.

"In 30 days if they do not vacate the property of current patients I will personally take buses down to the DCA in Trenton and make sure their license gets revoked. That's my goal in life," Cohen said.

Among the issues of concern to Cohen:

      • A resident was found dead in the facility in 2012, and one of the secondary causes listed on the death certificate was malnutrition.
      • Cohen said a patient had a stroke in January because they were not given the correct medication.
      • A resident was found dead due to a heroin overdose in the facility in 2016.
      • A resident committed suicide on June 13, 2019.
      • Police have been called to a nearby Wawa and Walgreens at least 125 times in the past year through November for issues created by Manor residents. Cohen is concerned that CVS may follow Walgreens and close.
      • Officers have been called to the facility 339 times between July and the beginning of November.

Cohen said she feels badly for the women who struck the man on Wednesday night.

"The poor women that hit this gentleman have to live with this forever. They didn't do anything wrong but forever they have to live with the fact that they killed someone.It's horrible and it can't continue," Cohen said.

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

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