Camden Fire Department
Fire, Rescue, & Safety Operations
June 2, 2012 - Accident on the Ben Franklin Bridge


This page and the other pages in this series are the successors to the series of web-page about the Camden Fire Department that began with the page Camden Fire Department: The Fires of the Summer of 2011. On this and other pages in the series you will find pictures and information regarding different events and aspects of the fire service in Camden, New Jersey.

As stated elsewhere, the Camden Fire department responds to a great many other emergency situations than fires. These include gas leaks, downed wires, children locked in cars, innumerable false alarms and alarm malfunctions, and countless other circumstances where the safety of the public must be attended to. This also includes traffic accidents, and sadly all to often these result in the serious injury or death of parties involved. Dealing with life and death situations is a daily occurrence for Fire and EMS personnel in the City of Camden and elsewhere.

I had been in Camden in the morning, and having stopped to chat with the fellows at Engine 10 I accompanied them to the seen of a fatal hit-and-run accident on Route 676. I was back in the city later in the day, and was at Liberty Station around 6:30 when a call came for an accident on the Ben Franklin Bridge. It took almost ten-minutes to get to the accident, the roads were clogged with vehicles, some returning from the Jersey shore, and the accident caused traffic to back up well east of the toll plaza. 

A mini-van had stopped in the middle of the bridge, having broken down, and the car behind it had rear-ended the van. Once on scene Fire and EMS personnel operated with great efficiency, as there were a number of injured people. It was thought that one man in the rear of the minivan had died as a result of the accident, however it appears he had been dead for some time, and these sitting beside him had thought him asleep. 

While returning to Liberty Station, Rescue 1 was dispatched to another car accident, this one on Route I-676 South below Morgan Boulevard. This was a single car accident and Engine 10 handled it. Rescue 1 finally returned to quarters at 7:46 PM.

The last photo is that of EMS personnel operating at Haddon Avenue and Mickle Boulevard at 9:10 PM.

As with the web page covering other Camden Fire Department events, if you can identify anyone that I've missed, please e-mail me. (I'm terrible at at names and faces). 

Phil Cohen
June 25, 2012

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Philadelphia Inquirer - June 2, 2012

One dead in crash on Ben Franklin Bridge

By Vernon Clark
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

A 60-year-old man died and five people were hospitalized Saturday evening 
after a disabled van on the Ben Franklin Bridge was struck from behind by a 
car driven by a 19-year-old man who was intoxicated, bridge police said.

Tim Ireland, a spokesman for the Delaware River Port Authority, said the 
crash occurred about 6:30 p.m. when the van, with six people inside, was hit 
by a late-model Mazda. Ireland said the van was on the New Jersey side of 
the bridge, facing west in the second lane from the right when the Mazda 
smashed into it. Both vehicles had Pennsylvania license plates.

The deceased, who had been in the rear seat of the van, suffered a heart 
attack and died at the scene, Ireland said. Four people in the van were taken 
to Cooper University Hospital in Camden and one was taken to Thomas 
Jefferson University Hospital, he said.

In the Mazda was the driver, who police said was from Delaware County, 
and a passenger. Ireland said the driver had a blood-alcohol level of .08.

He was in police custody Saturday evening and the passenger was being 
questioned by police. Ireland said the driver was expected to be charged 
with driving under the influence, and might also be charged with vehicular 
homicide, among other offenses. The incident remained under investigation.


Philadelphia Inquirer - June 4, 2012

Phila. man died prior to bridge crash blamed on DUI

By Peter Mucha
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

A 68-year-old Philadelphia man was not killed during a crash Saturday evening on the Ben Franklin Bridge, but died before the accident, officials said.

As a result, a 19-year-old Delaware County man will face charges related to driving under the influence, but not vehicular homicide charges, according to Tim Ireland, spokesman for the Delaware River Port Authority.

A heart attack caused the death of Pervis Herder of the 2700 block of North Fairhill Street, in the city’s Fairhill section, the medical examiner’s office ruled, Ireland said.

Herder was a rear-seat passenger in a westbound Ford van, and about 6:30 p.m., mechanical problems caused it to stop or nearly stop on the New Jersey side of the bridge.

At the time, none of the other five people in the van realized Herder had died. He simply seemed to be sleeping.

The van was then rear-ended by a Mazda driven by Kevin Diamond Jr. of the 200 block of Evergreen Avenue in Folsom, Ireland said.

Four people in the van were transported to Camden’s Cooper University Hospital. A fifth was taken to Philadelphia’s Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. Ireland did not know their conditions as of Monday afternoon.

Diamond’s blood-alcohol level was found to be .08, the threshold for DUI in New Jersey, Ireland said.

"I would also point out that he was underage, and that matters," he added.

Several westbound lanes were closed for the investigation and cleanup, and the effort was hampered because of additional drunk-driving arrests.

Both vehicles had Pennsylvania tags..

 

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