Woman is critically injured

June 20, 1995

Woman is critically injured in accident on Valley Road

By Laurie Lynn Strasser

Staff Writer

Two accidents within an hour of each other Friday at Valley Road intersections left one Hopewell woman critically injured and another facing ‘ traffic charges.

Meredith C. Stevens, 44, of 4 Cedarbrook Terrace, Hopewell, was flown by helicopter to the trauma center at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick after a large van driven by Patrick L. Root, 35, of 4′ 25 Route 27, Princeton, broadsided her 1988 Honda Civic, totaling it. police said.

They collided at 2:24 p.m. after one of the two ran the red light at the corner of Valley Road and Witherspoon Street. township Police Sgt. Mark Emann said. As of Monday, police said, it was unclear which driver was at fault.

“Both cars cat le through the intersection at once,” he said. The traffic light was functioning properly when checked after the crash, he said. It was installed two years ago been ice the intersection was considered dangerous, partly based on a high accident rate there. Sgt. Emann said.

“We are not sure of any charges at this point,” he said Monday. “We’re still investigating. On a major crash like this we don’t like to jump to conclusions. We’re leaving no stone unturned.

Ms. Stevens was listed in critical but stable condition Monday in the intensive care unit.

When the accident occurred, she was headed west on Valley Road toward Rome 206, while Mr. Root was traveling north on Witherspoon Street, police said. Leaving long black rubber skid marks on the pavement, the van pushed the car about 20 feet up Witherspoon Street, smashing the windshield and plowing in both drivers’ side doors. The impact was so great that it buckled the metal on the passenger side as well. The vehicles came to rest on the opposite side of the street at the driveway edge outside the Princeton Township Public Works Garage.

Mr. Root, who was uninjured but visibly upset, declined comment. His van sustained minor front end damage and the top of the steering wheel folded toward the dashboard at nearly a right angle.

Ms. Stevens was extricated from her car by Princeton Rescue Squad workers. Police closed a small stretch of Mount Lucas Road for about an hour until the wreckage was cleared away.

Police expect to finish interviewing witnesses by the end of week, Sgt. Emann said. Police are seeking other witnesses, he said, noting that anyone who saw the accident should contact him or Patrolman Scott Porreca.

In a less serious accident at 1:27 p.m. Friday. Eleanor Vannoy of 100 Pennington-Hopewell Road, Hopewell. was charged with running a stop sign at the intersection of Valley Road and Walnut Lane. Princeton Township Police Cali. David Cromwell said.

Traveling south on Walnut Lane in her Jaguar sedan. she did not see the stop sign until it vas too late because she was closing the sunroof of her car, he said.

Traveling west on Valley Road in a Toyota 4-Runner, E. Harvey Myers, 59, of 13 Honeybrook Drive, Princeton, clipped the hack quarter panel of the driver’s side of her car, which rotated and came to rest on the grass across the street, police said.

Ms. Vannoy was treated for pain in her upper arm at the Medical Center at Princeton.

Packet Staff Writer Hank Kahl contributed to this article.

Rescue workers attend to Hopewell resident Meredith C. Stevens on Friday after her vehicle collided with a large van driven by Patrick L. Root of Princeton on Valley Road near Witherspoon Street.

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