A Bergen County NJ firefighter died in a tragic motorcycle accident on the Garden State Parkway. Now authorities are saying that the driver of the vehicle that killed the motorcyclist was intoxicated.
The fatal motorcycle accident occurred on the southbound lanes of the Garden State Parkway around 8:30 p.m. on a Saturday night. The motorcyclist was riding a Harley Davidson motorcycle on the GSP, near Toms River NJ, when he crashed into a Plymouth Voyager minivan that was in the center lane on the highway.
According to witnesses, the minivan had slowed down, possibly even stopping in the middle of the roadway, when the motorcyclist crashed into the rear of the van.
The victim was later identified as Frank Stetz, a firefighter from Wallington, New Jersey. He was said to be a passionate motorcycle rider known for riding his bike around the Tri-State Area.
The driver of the minivan who allegedly caused the fatal rear-end collision is 17 years old. That’s also how long Stetz had been volunteering with the Wallington Fire Department prior to being killed in the tragic motor vehicle accident. As a firefighter, Stetz was active in the community and beloved by his fellow crewmembers. In December 2013, Stetz suffered an injury when he slipped and fell from a fire truck; at the time, he was in the process of delivering gifts to children of other firefighters.
Mark Tomko, the current mayor of Wallington NJ, was friends with Stetz. Tomko, who also volunteered with the Wallington Fire Department, called Stetz “a good guy” always willing to help out his friends.
An obituary, which ran in local NJ papers, indicated that Stetz is survived by his parents and three siblings. They were reportedly making funeral arrangements for Stetz.
Meanwhile, the teen driver has been charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) for his alleged role in the fatal motorcycle accident. Law enforcement also indicated that additional charges, possibly criminal charges for vehicular manslaughter and assault by auto, are likely to follow.
For more information about this tragic DWI accident, read the NJ.com article, “Firefighter Killed in Parkway Crash with Drunk Teen, Report Says.”
If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident, it is important for you to contact an experienced personal injury and motorcycle accident lawyer who will fight on your behalf. Andrew S. Prince of Team Law is passionate about fighting for the rights of riders. He will work tirelessly to help you secure maximum compensation in your personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.