Mainland teen in critical condition after 3-car crash on Route 40

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4 other teens injured

A Mainland Regional High School freshman was critically injured Saturday, Aug. 30 when the vehicle she traveling in was involved in a three-car crash on Route 40 in Hamilton Township at about 8:45 a.m.

 According to Hamilton Township Police,  a 2008 Chevy Silverado driven by Nicholas Gareffi, 39, of Vineland was traveling eastbound on Route 40 near milepost 43.7 when it crossed the center line into oncoming traffic and struck a westbound 2007 Mitsubishi box truck driven by Darrel Jacobs, 48, of Vineland. The Chevy then struck a 2011 Volkswagen Jetta occupied by five people, which was traveling westbound behind the box truck, causing it to spin off the road into the front yard of a residence. 

The driver of the Volkswagen, Madelyn Williscroft, 18, of Linwood, and three juvenile passengers sustained mild to moderate injuries and were taken by ambulance to Atlantic City Medical Center for treatment. A third juvenile passenger suffered serious injuries and was flown by Southstar to AtlantiCare Medical Center City Division. 

After striking the Volkwagen, the Chevy ran off the road, struck several trees, and became engulfed in flames. Firefighters from Mays Landing Volunteer Fire Company and the NJ Forest Fire Service extinguished the fire. 

The driver of the Chevy, Garreffi, was taken to ACMC for evaluation. The driver of the box truck, Jacobs, was uninjured.

Mainland Regional High School Interim Superintendent Robert Previti posted the following statement about the accident on the district website: "As many of you are already aware, five Mainland Regional High School students were involved in a traffic accident on Route 40 in Hamilton Township this morning, Aug. 30. All five students were admitted to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in Atlantic City. Four students were evaluated and released to their parents. One remains in critical condition. Please keep the entire Mainland Community in your thoughts and prayers. As more information becomes available, details will follow.

The road was closed for investigation for approximately two hours. 

Assistance at the scene was provided by the New Jersey State Police, Atlantic County Park Rangers, paramedics from Atlanticare, Mays Landing Volunteer Fire Department, N.J. Forest Fire Service, and rescue squads from Hamilton Township, Hammonton and Galloway. 

No summonses were issued pending further investigation by Officer J. Hartman. 

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