2 Dead In Possible N.J. Drag Race Crash

HOWELL TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBS 2) — Two people are dead Saturday night after a car somehow went airborne and landed on a tree in New Jersey.

As police unravel the tragic chain of events, they’re considering the possibility that this was the result of a drag race.

It started as a night out with friends. For Simone Kearney, it was the last night of her life.

She was a passenger in a silver Honda Accord, which was moving southbound on Route 9 in Howeell Township, when it careened into a utility pole and went airborne.

The car tore off the front railing and corner of a house, and stopped – suspended, in between two big trees.

The impact killed Kearney instantly, according to police.

Also dead is Terence Butler, 27, a father of three whose family came to the scene to leave photos and roses.

“My daughter was 21 years of age, just beginning to live her life,” said Barry Kearney, Simone’s father. “Now she’s gone.”

Police called it a possible drag race because three cars were involved, all seen traveling at high rates of speed moments before the crash, which happened just after 1:30 a.m.

The drivers of the other cars stopped and police arrested them on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.

Two other young people are hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.

Witness Jackie Davis Hecht owns the home that is now scarred and boarded up.

“The house is shaking, and that’s when we knew it was hit,” she said. “We could feel it rumbling.”

Simone was a certified home health aide, who was heading back to school to become a registered nurse.

“The Butler boy, had he not been driving and speeding, my daughter would still be alive,” her father said. “These kids need to realize all the partying, all the drinking, all the things that took place on Highway 9 in Howell Township could have been avoided.”

  • y johnson

    And to Juan Valden i resent that comment you made about 27 year old TJ and my niece the 21 year old who lost there life and you have the nerve to call them stuipid when they lost there life how would you feel if it was your love one because one time or another someone that you may love it might happen to and how would you feel if they say that was good for them you would’nt like it so why would you make a comment like this i pray to God that this dose’nt happen to you for you to understand what family are going through and i pray to God that he give you a heart to reliaze what you said i’m pray for people like you

  • thomas

    I just want to say that we all have done thing in our life that we was not suppose to do if it was your family member your would not be feeln that way just pray for both family

  • PrettyNikki717

    Boy, It never cease to amaze me of some of the unthoughtful things that ignorant ppl. tend to say at other ppls tragic expence! Sometimes I think fools like that wait for something bad to happen to someone else just so they can say hateful things! We can’t take back what happened. Calling these deceased young ppl “stupid” and making insinuations about things that u know nothing about is just wrong! No one knows what happened but the two that are in the hospital now. To my understanding, Simone was sleeping and the back seat passengers were asking the driver to slow down, so does that sound like stupid ppl to u! They were coming from a memorial. If anyone sounds stupid, it would be u!

  • Jap

    Stop playing God and Judging everyone. ONe in this hospital is my friends niece. pray for her and all the parents because thats what they need. Have
    some respect.

  • Rosa Ana

    miss u soo much TJ it hurts tat ur not here with us R.I.P TJ

  • Minister Lisa Wilburn

    Okay my name is Minister Lisa Wilburn cousin of the young lady that lost her life Simone plese do me a favor in this time of our family berevament if you don’t have anything positive or giving condolences to the families keep your ignorant comments to your selves until you get the facts and for the young man that said the down low mess the youth were coming back froma memorial of someone that past last year and they were driving home together. So people be mindful of your tongues and how you use them and say awful, mean, horrible things about something you don’t have all facts about. Be praying for the families not hurting them further.

  • TeeTee

    RIP TJ you will be missed ! You were the best cousin anyone could wish for…no matter what everyone else is saying ! We all know you wouldn’t have did this intentionally ! And we’re gonna keep our heads up and look after the babies. Much love from you cousin TeeTee !

  • James Gordon

    Driver was trying to start a “down low” relationship with 21 year girl.
    Another pair added to stupid way to die

    • Jessica M.

      hey james, do u feel better about yourself after making that comment. you have no idea who any of these people are. how sick are you that you would say something so awful. three young children just lost their father and the only word you can come up with is stupid. i dont know you and am very thankful for that. you should keep your thoughts and words to yourself cause they have no use to anyone else. grow up and have some respect. i pray you never have to deal with what we are all dealing with now.

  • Laural Church

    What was a 27 year old man doing driving around, drunk, with a 21 year old girl? he should have been home with his wife/girlfriend and kids.

  • juan valdez

    most of your comments are all ignorant

    both victims are stupid one because a 27 yr old father of 3 was too stupid to see that his actions were careless. the 21 yr old woman was too stupid to tell him to slow down.

    • Minister Lisa Wilburn

      first off there were two other people in the car did tell him to slow down so see again none of you have the facts about this tradgey

    • Mrs J

      i dont appreciate you talkin that young lady like this you are being very disrespectful to some one just lost there life over this if you dont have anything nice to say keep your thoughts and comments to your self thank you

  • Nemesis xyz

    That’s why I’m having kids on the Moon…the .Earth is going to the birds.

  • JasonS

    “You were a great father”

    Right up until the moment he decided to have a drag race. Then the future of his kids pretty much got forgotten about. What the hell is a man with kids doing street racing like a teenager.

  • JasonS

    This is what happens to people when they act stupidly. Tragic, but inevitable. Those idiot drag racers could have quite easily hit a car full of children, or a mother with a stroller. It sucks for the passenger who died but then again knowingly getting into a car with a drunk or crazed driver is almost as bad as driving it.

    • chuck

      How do you know she knew he was drunk? How do you know he was drunk?

  • negritooo

    R.I.P. simone you were the best cousin anyone could ask for. you didnt even want to leave that night you wanted to stay home and i wish you did. now your gone and i wish you could come back :( i love youu

  • Dina

    Seriously, Don? Do you feel smarter having typed that comment? A father is missing his daughter and children are missing their father. To Joe, how are the parents irresponsible? You can try to teach your kids as much as possible, once they are out of your reach, there’s no telling what they will/won’t do.

    Sadly, this tragedy occurred, but hopefully other kids will learn from this and make wiser choices.

  • Don

    It was a street race, not a drag race.
    A drag race takes place at a race track called a drag strip.

  • Trikk

    You were a great father and your children know you are watchin them. Forever missed.

    • Joe

      These kids parents were just as irresponsible, now they bemoan the fact this could have been avoided.

      • negritooo

        this my fam you are talking about. how is it the parents fault? she was 21 years old which means she was llegal and not living under her parents rules anymore and married so they parents have no part in this they cant r\be responsible for a grown women.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Giving Tuesday
Charles Osgood Event

Listen Live