Vehicular Homicide Charges Filed Against Driver in Fatal Route 1 Accident
Lawrence Township police have identified Jennifer L. Grondski, 40, of Trenton as the woman who was struck and killed by a car as she tried to cross Route 1 in a motorized wheelchair late Thursday night.
The motorist whose car struck and killed a woman in a motorized wheelchair as she tried to cross Route 1 late Thursday night (Aug. 23) was allegedly intoxicated and has been charged with vehicular homicide-related offenses, Lawrence Township police announced Friday morning.
The deceased was indentified by police as Jennifer L. Grondski, 40, of the 1900 block of Greenwood Avenue, Trenton.
The driver, Mitchell R. Depace, 26, of Jewel Road, West Windsor, was charged with death by auto, driving under the influence and reckless driving, according to township police spokesman Lt. Mark Ubry.
The deadly accident occurred along the northbound side of Route 1 (Brunswick Pike) at the intersection with Bakers Basin Road/Franklin Corner Road. It was reported to police at 11:43 p.m. Thursday.
Ubry said investigators from the township police department and the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office have determined that at the time of the accident Grondski, operating a motorized wheelchair, was in the striped crosswalk attempting to cross Route 1, going east from Franklin Corner Road toward Bakers Basin Road.
Depace was driving his 2011 Nissan Altima in the right northbound Lane, Ubry said, noting that Depace had a green light at the intersection.
Depace’s car struck Grondski with such force that she was thrown a considerable distance.
She was pronounced dead at the scene upon the arrival of emergency medical personnel. Depace, meanwhile, was arrested, handcuffed and placed in the rear of a patrol car.
Another man who was riding as a passenger in Depace’s car initially left the scene, according to witnesses. But that man later returned to the scene and cooperated with police, Ubry said.
He said that passenger, a Lawrence Township resident, was not charged with any crime and was later treated for minor injuries he received when the car’s airbag deployed.
The northbound lanes of Route 1 remained closed until about 3 a.m. to allow authorities to investigate.
Conducting the investigation are township Police Officers James Larkin and Sean Kerins and Detective Robert Potter, with the assistance of Detective Tony Abarno from the prosecutor’s office.
Police ask anyone who witnessed the accident or who might have information that could assist investigators to call them at (609) 896-1111.