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15 Injured In Crash In Lakewood Township, N.J.

Lakewood Township Accident

At least 15 people were injured Tuesday evening in a crash in Lakewood Township, N.J. (Credit: CBS 2)

LAKEWOOD TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Fifteen people were injured Tuesday evening when a sport-utility vehicle slammed into a van full of co-workers in Lakewood Township, N.J.

As CBS 2’s Emily Smith reported, the crash involved a dark gray sport-utility vehicle and a white Ford Econoline van. It happened around 7:15 p.m. at New Hampshire Avenue and Pine Street in Lakewood Township, in Ocean County, N.J.

Karen Washington said all 13 people in the Econoline van were her colleagues at Cavalry, a service that moves rental cars for major companies.

“The guy in the back said, ‘Oh my God, it’s our van!’” Washington said. “She stopped. We all jumped out and just ran to go assist. We had to pull people on the grass because the van started smoking.”

The van was directly behind Washington’s vehicle as they all headed to their home base at Newark-Liberty International Airport.

“I thought it was an explosion,” Washington said. “I didn’t hear tires screeching or any of that.”

Witnesses said the driver of the white van, heading south, was turning left when the SUV hit it heading north. Both vehicles spun around in opposite directions after the head-on crash, witnesses said.

“People were knocked out, passed out, stuck inside the van,” said witness Roslyn Logan.

A view from the air showed debris from the crash scattered across the streets. The white van and SUV were both left mangled.

“It’s hard, because these are my colleagues,” said Logan, of East Orange, N.J. “I want to make sure they are OK.”

One person was taken to an area hospital in critical condition, authorities said.

Lakewood police said there were two people in the SUV. The critically-injured person was in the van.

It was not clear on the cause of the accident, whether anyone ran a red light, or whether alcohol was involved.

The intersection remained closed and taped off for four hours as police investigated the crash.

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