BRIDGEWATER, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Two pedestrians were killed in an early morning crash Thursday in Bridgewater Township.
It happened just after 3 a.m. along the westbound side of Route 22 near North Adamsville Road.
Police said a 2004 Toyota Sienna minivan driven by Xu Chengfei of Flushing, New York, hit 29-year-old Robert Gibbons and 23-year-old Magdalene Allen, who were standing along the busy roadway. The two were pronounced dead at the scene.
Video captured the deadly accident.
“He was going full speed, and the two didn’t pay attention, and they didn’t run,” said Bridgewater Diner owner Mike Anastasi, who shared the surveillance video with CBS2. “That’s what I see. That’s what I saw in the video.”
“If you look at the damage to the van, you can see that was a fast impact,” said Tom Foster at nearby Bridgewater Acura. “They got hit hard. My heart goes out to their families.”
Chengfei was taken to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries.
Police say this isn’t the first time someone was killed on Route 22.
In 2012, CBS2 covered a story about how dangerous Route 22 is for pedestriants who continue to cross it.
The three-lane highway is unique in that there are businesses on both sides and in the center median. There aren’t many traffic lights to slow down or stop motorists. There also isn’t a place to safely cross the street and no overpasses either.
“It’s a really dangerous area, especially if you pull out of the diner,” said Ross Lazicky of Basking Ridge. “I look both ways. I never cross the street just walking, it’s always driving. I know the area and there have been accidents like this in the past.”
“It’s not safe, it’s definitely not safe,” said Shari Hamilton of Bridgewater. “They need to do something about it to make it safer for the pedestrians.”
Anastasi said he spoke to the mayor who said it is a state highway, so the diner owner is planning on going to the state in hopes of making the road safer for customers, drivers and pedestrians.
“I feel bad,” Anastasi said. “We have to do something about this, the traffic on Route 22 – both sides.”
Those who work across the street at the car dealership say they go out of their way to make sure their customers are safe because they say they believe the road is just that dangerous, CBS2’s Raegan Medgie reported.
“They have to do something cause people from that hotel over there, and they’re opening another hotel over there, they’re trying to cross the street to go to the diner and that’s what happens,” said Ilena Ortega with Bridgewater Acura.
“We try to drive customers across the street because we’re in fear for them to get hurt,” Foster said. “Everybody’s trying to get to work, 70 miles an hour. It’s not a good situation.”
Police are still trying to piece the accident together.
Any witnesses are asked to contact Bridgewater Township Traffic Safety Officer Douglas Thorsen at 908-722-4111 ext 4154.