Manalapan officials renew call for residential facility’s license to be revoked

0
618

MANALAPAN – Following the death of another resident of Manalapan Manor, municipal officials have renewed their call for the residential healthcare facility’s license to be revoked by the state.

Shortly before 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 12, a 38-year-old man from Newark who was a resident of Manalapan Manor, Route 33, was struck by two vehicles as he was crossing the eastbound lane of Route 33 on foot outside a marked crosswalk near Woodward Road, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.

The man was initially struck by a 2017 Toyota Rav 4 being driven by a 32-year-old female resident of Neptune. Following the initial collision, a 2017 Lexus RX being driven by a 54-year-old female resident of East Windsor struck the man. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 7:37 p.m., according to the prosecutor’s office.

Both vehicles were traveling east and neither driver was injured. The pedestrian’s name and the drivers’ names had not been released by the prosecutor’s office as of Feb. 14.

Manalapan Manor (previously known as Marianne Manor) is a private residential healthcare facility that is overseen by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA). The facility is on Route 33 eastbound near the intersection of Woodward Road.

The area of Route 33 and Woodward Road has been the scene of previous pedestrian fatalities in recent years. There are businesses at the intersection – notably a CVS pharmacy and a Wawa convenience store – that are frequented by residents of the nearby residential healthcare facility.

On Oct. 22, 2014, a 67-year-old male resident of Marianne Manor was struck and killed by a vehicle as he attempted to cross Route 33 on foot near Woodward Road.

On Aug. 25, 2015, a 60-year-old male resident of Marianne Manor was struck and killed by a vehicle as he was standing in the right lane of Route 33 eastbound near Woodward Road.

On Oct. 2, 2016, a 58-year-old male resident of Marianne Manor was struck and killed by a vehicle as he attempted to cross Route 33 on foot near Woodward Road.

Following the Feb. 12 fatality, Deputy Mayor Susan Cohen, who is Manalapan’s public information officer, wrote to Edward M. Smith, director of the Division of Codes and Standards in the DCA, to inform him of the latest incident near Manalapan Manor.

Her letter marked the latest communication from the township to the state in an ongoing attempt to address multiple issues at Manalapan Manor.

Cohen wrote that “in the letter we sent on Nov. 6, 2019, we clearly stated that ‘residents of Manalapan should not have to fear driving down Route 33 and killing someone or driving into a panhandler.’ Unfortunately, our fears have come true.

“The ‘owners’ of the facility … came to a meeting at Town Hall this morning (Feb. 13) to meet with the construction official, fire official, health officer, health inspector, zoning official, township administrator, township attorney, police commissioner and myself. They wanted to discuss their renovation project.

“Your office advised us in an email dated Dec. 3, 2019, that there were only eight residents remaining in the facility. Just this morning the ‘owners’ of this facility claimed they currently have 16 members living there.

“We advised them they have a month to safely relocate these residents, secure the proper permits and begin the renovations without residents remaining in the facility.

“The ‘owners’ are under the impression their residential healthcare facility license will allow them to bring in private pay residents once they reopen after renovations. Is that allowed under DCA rules?

“The township is not confident changes will be made to the facility or that the remaining residents will be cared for properly. We continue to fear the loss of life, the lack of quality care and the disgusting living conditions. We again implore you to revoke their license,” Cohen wrote on behalf of the Township Committee.

State officials have previously informed the township that residents of Manalapan Manor are not restricted to the residential healthcare facility’s property.

The Feb. 12 incident remains under investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, the Manalapan Police Department and the Monmouth County Serious Collision Analysis Response Team.

Anyone who witnessed the incident or who has information that may assist the investigative team is asked to contact Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Detective Ryan McAndrews at 800-533-7443 or Manalapan Police Officer Matthew Meyler at 732-446-4300.