MANCHESTER – A Toms River woman died Thursday morning in a head-on crash with a refrigerated box truck on Route 70.

Municipal police said a Nissan Frontier driven by Sandra Wade, 61, was traveling westbound on Route 70 near Route 530 when the Nissan crossed into opposite traffic around 6:45 a.m.

The driver of the box truck, Joseph Ballard, 35, of Levittown, Pennsylvania, swerved into the eastbound shoulder to avoid hitting Wade but hit the driver’s side of her pickup.

The impact of the crash caused extensive damage to the front of the pickup and tore off its roof, according to police.

Wade was pronounced dead at the crash scene. Ballard suffered minor injuries but declined to be taken to a hospital.

Route 70 was closed for several hours in both directions through the Thursday morning commute for an investigation.

It was the fourth fatal crash on Route 70 in Ocean County this year and the second in Manchester, according to State Police statistics. There were two others in neighboring Pemberton.

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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