MANALAPAN – A motor vehicle accident on Route 9 in Manalapan has claimed the lives of two young men from a Middlesex County community.
According to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, at 9:31 p.m. Jan. 16, Manalapan police officers responded to a single-vehicle crash on Route 9 north in Manalapan.
The location of the crash was just south of Smallwood Lane at the entrance to the Monmouth Heights residential development.
An investigation by the Monmouth County Serious Collision Analysis Response Team and the Manalapan Police Department determined that a 2004 Infiniti G35 was traveling north on the state highway when the driver lost control of the vehicle and left the road, according to the prosecutor’s office.
The vehicle collided with a curb, a utility pole and a guardrail prior to coming to a stop in a wooded area that was about 100 yards from where the vehicle left the highway.
There were two occupants in the vehicle: the driver, Jonathan Ramirez, 20, and a passenger, Justin Rochford, 20, both of Spotswood, Middlesex County.
According to the prosecutor’s office, Rochford was pronounced dead at the scene. Ramirez was taken to a hospital and was pronounced dead at 1:24 a.m.
Anyone who witnessed the crash is asked to contact Monmouth County Detective Kristian DeVito at 800-533-7443 or Manalapan Patrolman Matthew Porricelli or Manalapan Detective Dominic Donatelli at 732-446-4300.