Two drivers killed in South Amboy head-on crash
EDITOR'S NOTE: Prosecutors on April 25 revealed that their initial account of the crash, which is reported below, was incorrect. Investigators said they initially blamed the wrong driver. To read the updated story, click here.
SOUTH AMBOY — Two drivers were killed and three passengers seriously injured in collision between two mini-vans on Route 35 early Sunday.
Percell Livingston Jr. 51, of East Orange was driving a 2002 Nissan Quest the wrong way in the northbound lanes when he hit a 2011 Honda Odyssey driven by Miguel Mendoza-Chong, 31, of Perth Amboy head on around 2:15 a.m., according to Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey. Both men were pronounced dead at the scene, according to Carey.
A 38-year-old man and 23-year-old woman in Mendoza-Chong's car were taken via medical helicopter to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. A third passenger, a 28-year-old woman, was treated and released.
Carey said "the cause of the crash is under active investigation in coordination between MCPO, South Amboy Police Department and the Middlesex County Medical Examiner's Office."
Pictures from the scene taken by RLS Metro Breaking News show one of the vehicles with its front end mangled and its back hung up on a guard rail.
Several Good Samaritans helped a woman get out of one of the vehicles, according to RLS Metro Breaking News.
In an email to New Jersey 101.5, a man identifying himself as Percell Livingston's son Jevohan Livingston wrote that his father was a community basketball coach in Orange and had just received a volunteer award for Best Assistant coach.
"He had gone fishing and was on his way to pick up my brother. My dad doesn't drink, smoke and was not fatigued," Jevohan Livingston said.
Route 35 was closed for most of the night for cleanup and an investigation; all lanes were reopened around 7 a.m.
Carey asked anyone with information about the crash to call South Amboy Police at 732-721-0111 or the Prosecutor's Office at 732-745-8843.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.
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