At least three people were killed in a multi-vehicle crash in Jersey City on Monday morning and another woman is fighting for her life.Eyewitness News has learned the roadway has a long history of deadly crashes and members of the community want to know why more isn’t being done.
Officials say the cars collided on Paterson Plank Road near Congress Street just after 12:30 a.m.Police say a BMW SUV appeared to have crashed head on into a Kia Amanti at the intersection, shoving the sedan against the wall, authorities said.
The driver of the Kia – identified as Dylan Weidenfeld, 26, of Jersey City – was pronounced dead at the scene.
Weidenfeld was an actor and the artistic director of Plays-in-the-Park released the following statement:”Dylan was a wonderful singer, actor and most of all friend to all of us at Plays-in-the-Park. We loved having him on our stage and in our midst and we, as well as the entire theatre community in Middlesex County and beyond, will miss him terribly. Our collective hearts are breaking at the news of this loss. ”
Their identities have not yet been released.A third backseat passenger, a 19-year-old female, remains in critical condition at Jersey City Medical Center.The male driver of the BMW and the front-seat female passenger, both 23, of Jersey City, suffered injuries that are not considered to be life-threatening.
The specific stretch of Paterson Plank Road is a hill with a blind curve and there have been eight deaths in seven years.
Hudson County, through the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority’s Local Safety Program, was awarded more than $53.3 million in federal funding for infrastructure improvement throughout the county. That includes a $12 million grant to Hudson County for Paterson Plank Road safety improvements:.
Work that has been one Paterson Plank Road so far includes a rumble stripe down the middle of the roadway, rumble strips across the lane before the curve, high friction surface treatment on the roadway and slow 25 mph signs on the road both at the top of the hill and the bottom.
Safe Streets Jersey City released the following statement:
“Horrific fatal crashes like this should never happen on a 25 mph road. Hudson County was awarded a $12 million grant to add safety improvements to this stretch after a 2020 study indicated a high rate of crashes compared to other county roads, while cyclists and pedestrians were at a particularly high risk of severe injury or death on Paterson Plank Road. The safety improvements remain incomplete, and now three lives have been lost. The situation on our streets is urgent. Safe streets advocates have been clamoring for changes on high-injury streets for years. How many more lives need to be lost or forever changed before that sense of urgency is realized by our leaders at every level of government?”
Back in August the county announced a Vision Zero task force to look for ways to prevent roadway accidents and Paterson Plank Road is notorious to advocates for road safety. One idea being considered is installing a median to help prevent head-on collisions. The task force is open to community input as not all agree on what would work best to make the road more safe. The Hudson County Prosecutors Office is investigating the crash. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Office of the Hudson County Prosecutor at 201-915-1345 or to leave an anonymous tip: http://www.hudsoncountyprosecutorsofficenj.org/homicide-tip/.