6 August 1980
Man who was “Talking to the Lord” Drives Car into Pole on Mercer St. at 50 M.P.H.
I was talking to the Lord and put my foot all the way to the floor, took my hands oft the steering wheel and folded my arms, closed my eyes, and told the Lord to do with me what He wished.
Fortunately for 22-year-old David M. Brischler Jr. of Trenton, the Lord or whoever else watches over motor vehicle accidents was smiling Friday morning at 10:42.
That was when the car being driven by Mr. Brischler east on Mercer Street, careened off the right side of the roadway east of Lovers Lane, traveled 588 feet along the embankment, uprooted a non- parking sign, struck a tree trunk, was airborne for 29.5 feet, smashed into another tree on the east side of the driveway at 180 Mercer Street, and then came to rest against a utility pole.
The Princeton First Aid Squad extricated Mr. Brischler from the car, and transported him to the Medical Center, where he was examined by Dr. Frank Sparrow and admitted for surgery.
Patrolman Bernard C. Lenhardt investigated and reported that when Mr. Brischler was admitted to the hospital he was unidentified and had only a social security card in his possession. He responded to inquiries by saying only that “Jesus saves” and “Jesus is right.”
By Monday afternoon, when Patrolman Lenhardt interviewed him, Mr. Brischler was walking on his own. He had suffered severe cuts of his right hand and forehead and scalp, which required skin grafting, but had been moved off the “serious” list. He was discharged on Tuesday.
“He’s Fortunate.” Patrolman Lenhardt took the statement quoted above. “I am confused about right and wrong.” the officer quoted the victim as saying. “I was awake for three days and had not food.” Patrolman Lenhardt added that Mr. Brischler told him he had been involved with drugs while serving in the Marine Corps and that for five days prior to the accident he had experienced the smell of LSD.
The police took blood samples from Mr. Brischler to determine the presence of intoxicants. The samples have a been sent to a laboratory for a analysis. Mr. Brischler was charged with reckless and careless driving and failure to have his driver’s license in his possession. That charge was dropped Tuesday when the license was found in the glove compartment of the car after it had been cut open with a torch.
He’s a fortunate young man,” said Patrolman Lenhardt. “but I’m not sure he knows that.” The officer said that the victim was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident. “If he was he probably would be dead.”
When the car struck the last tree the impact forced the steering wheel back against the front seat, where the driver would have been if he had been held in place by a belt. Patrolman Lenhardt theorized that the victim’s body shifted while the car was airborne. He was found trapped on top of the dashboard.
Speed Estimated at 50. A witness to the crash, Edward Read of 31 Greenhouse Lane, was walking westward on Mercer Street, when he saw the victim’s car pass another car before heading off the roadway. He estimated the speed at 50 miles per hour.
Five firemen were summoned to the scene as a precaution because of gasoline leaking from the car. Police reported that the car also damaged trees, shrubs, and flowers at the home of Robert Whitman, 180 Mercer Street.
THE DRIVER SURVIVED: This 1989 Ford was reduced to scrap metal last Friday morning after it veered off Mercer Street at an estimated 50 miles per hour, uprooted a traffic sign, ricocheted off several trees, and finally came to rest 632 feet from the point where it left the road. The car was taken away by a wrecker and a flat bed truck. The driver, David M. Brischler Jr., 22, of Trenton, was admitted to the hospital with cuts on his hand, forehead, and scalp. Police said Mr. Brischler told them he was “confused” and had been “talking to the Lord” prior to the crash.