JACKSON – Authorities are investigating a Christmas Eve motor vehicle collision in Jackson that claimed the life of a grandmother from Howell.
Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on Dec. 24 at 6 p.m., officers from the Jackson Police Department were called to the area of Cedar Swap Road and Interstate 195 to investigate a report of a motor vehicle crash with serious injuries.
An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit and Jackson police determined that a 2010 Mercedes Benz driven by Norman Shtab, 83, of Howell, was exiting I-195 at Exit 21. As Shtab was turning left onto Cedar Swap Road, his vehicle collided with a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado.
Billhimer said the driver of the Chevrolet fled from the scene on foot. He said an investigation determined the driver of the Chevrolet is believed to be Roberto Alcazar-Sanchez, 27, of Jackson.
“We are currently trying to positively identify and locate the driver of the Chevrolet,” Billhimer said in a Dec. 28 press release.
Gerardo Castillo-Mendoza, 30, of Wrightstown, who was a passenger in the Chevrolet, was transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Neptune, where he was treated and released.
Shtab and a passenger in his vehicle, his wife, Phyllis Shtab, 81, of Howell, were transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center. Norman was treated for his injuries and released. On Dec. 26, Phyllis died of injuries she sustained in the collision, Billhimer said.
On Dec. 28, Megan Shtab of Brick Township, who is Phyllis’ granddaughter, told the Tri-Town News, “My grandma had the most outrageous personality in the best way possible.
“She was hilarious, she had an inappropriate sense of humor that either offended you or made you crack up. Either way it was something. She was so special, so loving. The most incredible mother, she had five kids, she lost three kids. The only kids remaining are my dad and my uncle.”
She said her grandmother was a cancer survivor.
“She really had her trials, but she was still such a resilient woman with such a positive outlook on everything, and just being in her presence, she was such a joy to be around,” Shtab said. “She had so much life left in her.”
The incident is being investigated by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit, the Jackson Police Department and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Anthony Carrington of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office at 732-929-2027 or Officer Tristan Bennett of the Jackson Police Department at 732-928-1111.