NJ crash kills mother, injures children, others

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Atlantic County investigators say there was an explosion of metal and car parts when a minivan and car collided in Mullica Township Sunday evening.

According to police, a 2012 Buick, driven by 64-year-old Judith Calderone of Sweetwater, New Jersey, and a 1996 Dodge minivan, driven by a 37-year-old woman, collided around 5:40 p.m. on the 3700 block of Nesco Road.

The driver of the minivan was pronounced dead at the scene. Her name has not been released.

Police tell Action News the van was occupied by three other passengers: her boyfriend, 49-year-old Miguel Santiago of Hammonton, and her two young daughters.

Santiago suffered chest injuries and was airlifted to Cooper University Hospital where he remains critical.

Her 8-year-old daughter sustained significant head and chest trauma and was also airlifted to Cooper in critical condition.

The mother's 5-year-old daughter was first transported by ground to Atlanticare Mainland in Galloway, but was later transferred to Cooper.

The identities of the children are not being released due to the pending death notification of their mother.

Judith Calderone was airlifted to Atlanticare Regional in Atlantic City with head and chest injuries.

Her 71-year-old husband, Joseph, was ground transported to Atlanticare with chest injuries.

Both are in critical condition.

Police say the collision was head-on and both drivers were trapped in their vehicles.

The Jaws of Life was utilized on both vehicles.

Officials say the Dodge minivan flipped over and briefly caught fire during the collision.

The fire was extinguished by a neighbor who rushed outside when she heard the collision.

Police say the passengers were pulled from the minivan by several neighbors and several people that stopped to offer assistance.

The direction of travel of each vehicle and what caused this crash is unknown at this point.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 609-561-7600.

Nesco Road was shut down for approximately 5 hours while investigators were on scene.

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