Officer hurt in crash with alleged drunk driver

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HAMILTON TOWNSHIP – A township police officer was injured Christmas Eve when his police cruiser was struck by an alleged drunk driver at the intersection of Route 40 and County 575 in Mays Landing.

It was 12:39 a.m. Monday, Dec. 24 when the two-vehicle crash occurred. A Hyundai driven by Krystal Cruz of Bethlehem, Pa., was southbound on County 575 when it failed to stop for a red light at the intersection with Route 40, police said, and collided with a Township of Hamilton patrol Ford Crown Victoria operated by Officer Belford Rivera that was westbound on Route 40. The impact forced the police car onto the center median where it knocked down a pole supporting two traffic lights.

Officer Rivera was treated on the scene by Township of Hamilton Rescue personnel and AtlantiCare medics before being transported to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center City Division in Atlantic City.

Cruz and her passenger were not injured in the crash.

Cruz was charged with driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, careless driving and failure to observe a traffic signal. Traffic was diverted for approximately one hour with the assistance of Egg Harbor Township Police Department.


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