Driver Fails to Stop; Hits Church Building

25 November, 1988 (~estimated)

Driver Fails to Stop; Hits Church Building

A Stamford, Ct. resident was injured a week before Thanksgiving Day when he failed to stop for a stop sign and rammed into Ivy Hall — a building owned by Trinity Church at 43 Mercer Street.

The driver, Michael Had-man, 30, was transported by the Princeton First Aid Squad to Princeton Medical Center’s emergency room where he was treated by a trauma team. Mr. Hadman sustained fractures of both sides of his jaw, a fractured right ankle, severe laceration of the tongue and a laceration under the chin. There were no passengers in the car.

He was issued summonses for driving while intoxicated, careless driving and failure to stop for a stop sign by the investigating officer, Sgt. William Clark. Mr. Hadman’s car, a 1989 Jeep Wrangler, was a total loss and was towed to Larini’s Auto Repair Center on Alexander Street. Its front end had been smashed in, its wind-shield shattered, its undercarriage damaged and its hood buckled: All four tires had been flattened.

Although the foundation of Ivy Hall was damaged, it was declared safe by Borough Building Inspector William Majewski who was called to the scene.

Before the accident, Mr. Madman had attended a business dinner at the Hyatt Regency-Princeton in Carnegie Center on Route I. According to police, who responded to the scene at 10:11 p.m., the Had-man car failed to stop at the foot of Alexander Street, entered the Mercer Street intersection, jumped the curb and struck the front of Ivy Hall.

Interviewed the following evening at the Medical Center by Sgt. Clark, Mr. Heilman told the officer that he did not remember driving his car prior to the accident. The last thing he remembered, he said, was being at the Hyatt.

Four patrol cars responded to the scene. Assisting Sgt. Clark were Detectives Ralph Terracciano and Dennis McManimon, P11. Victor Fasanella, Ptl. Robert Carrier and Ptl. Lori Sannella. They administered first aid to the victim until the arrival of an ambulance and rescue truck from the First Aid Squad. Also called to the scene were the Mercer County Paramedics and a fire truck and nine firemen from the Princeton Volunteer Fire Department.

At the scene, Sgt. Clark inter-viewed Hank Kelbaugh of Belle Mead and James Aubert of Ewing Township who told the officer that, while they had not witnessed the accident, they both worked for the same company as the victim —Bloomberg Financial Markets, 31 Airport Road, Montgomery Township — and had been attending the dinner at the Hyatt 1 with the victim.

Mr. Kelbaugh told Sgt. Clark that Mr. Hadman had been drunk at the bar following din-ner and he asked the bartender not to serve him any more drinks. The bartender com-plied.

Mr. Aubert told police that he had been unaware of Mr. Hadman’s condition at the hotel but had been following his car up Alexander Street until he had to stop for a red light. He lost sight of the victim’s car just prior to the accident.

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