By JOHN T. WARD
A Visiting Nurse Association van carrying “multiple” sightseers on an annual tour of grand homes smashed into a dump truck in Rumson early Thursday afternoon, seriously injuring one passenger.
The victim, who was not immediately identified, was transported by MONOC helicopter to the trauma center at Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune, said police Chief Scott Paterson.
Two other passengers may have also been taken to a hospital lesser injuries, said Paterson, who added that information was still being gathered by investigators shortly before 3 p.m.
The van, whose driver was not immediately identified, appeared to have been heading east on Rumson Road just past the Rumson Country Club at about 1:19 p.m. when it collided with the left rear corner of the dumptruck.
Paterson said the truck appeared to be heading in the same direction. It came to rest on Conover Lane; Paterson said it was unclear if the truck was making a right turn onto Conover at the time of the accident.
The impact sheared the passenger-side support post alongside the windshield and collapsed the roof over the seat where the seriously injured passenger, a woman, had been riding, he said.
One of the van passengers was overheard telling onlookers that the van driver was attempting to pass the truck when the crash occurred. The witness declined comment to redbankgreen, and Paterson said he did not yet have information about the cause of the accident.
Paterson said he did not know how many people were in the van at the time.
The van was ferrying ticketholders in the VNA’s annual Stately Homes by the Sea tour of area mansions, a fundraising event.