FAIR HAVEN: KOCH CRITICAL AFTER CRASH

jerome koch 112811Councilman Jerome Koch speaking during a council meeting at the Knollwood School in November, 2011. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

just_in1Fair Haven Councilman Jerome Koch was critically injured in a bicycling accident on River Road Saturday afternoon, according to Mayor Ben Lucarelli.

Koch, a retiree who has served on the council since 2006, was riding westbound near Elm Place when he swerved into the traffic lane and was rear-ended by a vehicle at about 3:30 p.m., Lucarelli said.

“It was a severe impact,” said Lucarelli, who arrived on the scene moments later.

Koch was medevaced by helicopter to Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune, where he remained in critical condition Sunday morning, Lucarelli said.

Lucarelli said he did not know the identity of the driver, a woman who was traveling with her daughter, or her town of residence. He said the driver was determined not to have been at fault and was traumatized by the accident.

A borough police spokesman could not be reached for comment Sunday morning.

Lucarelli said the driver told police that Koch veered unexpectedly in front of her.

The accident occurred just a half-mile east of the scene of a fatal crash during the 2013 running of the Tour de Fair Haven series of bicycle races. Shrewsbury resident Cole Porter, 38, died of his injuries two weeks later.

Koch lost his re-election bid to Democrat Aimee Humphreys earlier this month. His term ends on December 31.