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Brick Man Struck, Killed on Route 70 While Pushing Disabled Vehicle

Two crashes resulted in 40-year-old township man losing his life

A township man was struck by a car and killed Thursday night as he attempted to push his disabled vehicle off Route 70, police said.

William J. Cassano, 40, died after being struck as he was attempting to push his disabled 1988 Toyota 4Runner SUV to the shoulder of the state highway at approximately 8:43 p.m.

The vehicle had become disabled in the center travel lane of Route 70 eastbound approximately 150 feet west of the Burnt Tavern Road Extension, according to Brick Police Sgt. David Bedrosian.

During the course of pushing his vehicle, a passerby pulled onto the shoulder of Route 70 to offer assistance to Cassano at about the same time a 1990 Buick driven by William Cox, 23, of Freehold, hit the disabled 4Runner from behind.

The force of the crash launched Cassano approximately 30 feet toward the center median, Bedrosian said in a statement, but the passerby told police he got up and indicated he was OK. Shortly thereafter, however, Cassano was struck by a second vehicle, a 2009 Toyota Yaris being driven by Courtney J. Bannigan, 23, of Brick.

Bannigan, who was traveling eastbound, struck the Buick after hitting Cassano. The Buick had initially come to rest in the left travel lane of Route 70 eastbound at the intersection with Burnt Tavern Road, but after the second crash, ended up in the middle of the intersection. The Toyota came to a stop in the center median after striking a sign.

Cassano became pinned between the two vehicles, said Bedrosian. He sustained multiple injuries as a result of the crash, and succumbed to those injuries at the scene.

Neither of the other two drivers, nor the pedestrian who had initially stopped to help, were injured.

Brick Police Sgt. Covert and Ptl. Boronkas were the first arriving officers on the scene, followed by multiple police and paramedic units. Brick Police EMS, Brick Volunteer EMS and MONOC paramedics responded to the call as well as the Laurelton fire company. Members of the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office and Ocean County Sheriff's Department also investigated.

The accident left Route 70 closed in both directions between Burnt Tavern Road and Herbertsville Road for about three hours, Bedrosian said.

The investigation into the crash, being conducted by Bedrosian, Ptl. Jay Lampiasi and Ptl. Scott Dierking is ongoing. Anyone who may have witnessed the crash is being asked to contact the Brick Police Traffic Safety Unit at 732-262-1140.

MILITANT ANTI-THEIST May 07, 2012 at 01:54 PM
KC, odd enough... before i get turned into dust, I've instructed my wife to inform everyone they must wear sweatpants to my wake or they will not be allowed in. In the coffin I will be wearing a shirt that reads "trust me, there is no after life". SAVE LIVES - KILL RELIGION
T.Love May 08, 2012 at 01:50 PM
I couldn't of said that better Hollowman. Condolences to his friends & family & even though Will is not here the way u want him to be, remember he is here spiritually. Pls put faith into a higher power that everything happens according to GODS plan & judgements will be passed only by him. Prayers to all involved.
MJ Fletcher May 12, 2012 at 03:32 PM
On Monday, I saw a man kneeling and praying at the intersection of Rt 70 & Brunttraven/Bridge Ave Extention.. (Not knowing this story yet) It was obvious someone very dear, special and loved had been killed! Now, there is a cross and rocks marking the stop where William Cassano, a young man loss his life in such terrible circumstances! We must "always" remember.. "We are very "fragile" as humans in everyway and we "all" should always use the utmost caution and care with our car on the roads! My husband Marty and I send our most heart felt sympathies to the Cassano famlies and our sincere condolences to the other people involved who have to carry this tragic weight for a very long time to come! MJ Fletcher
proudnot2bliberal May 12, 2012 at 03:59 PM
Im taking bets were the young driver on the cell phone or texting? I bet they thought they could drive & text/talk at the same time. The drivers couldnt see 2 vehilces w/emeregnecy flashers on. Now a man is dead.
proudnot2bliberal May 12, 2012 at 04:07 PM
They dont need to lower the speed limit they need to ENFORCE IT! They need to enforce many of the driving laws here in NJ. The state deficit could be wiped out in less than 6 months. I use to drive 35K+ miles a year,I have driven from ME to FL to MO & everywhere BW. I have seen drivers ticketed far more in "real states" than here in NJ & they have much much lower insurance, accident & death rates. Enforcement is the key.

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