RED BANK: EX-FIRE CHIEF MEGO DIES

One arm still in a cast, John Mego was sworn in as first deputy fire chief in January 2010, three weeks after he was struck by a vehicle while working as a school crossing guard. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[UPDATE: Obituary and service information added below.]

Former Red Bank Fire Chief John Mego has died, Mayor Pasquale Menna said Friday morning.

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ANOTHER ACCIDENT SENDS TWO TO HOSPITAL

towerhill-accidentTwo were sent to the hospital in an accident at the intersection of Spring Street and Towerhill Avenue Monday, a block away and less than an hour after another crash injured nine. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A second car accident on Spring Street Monday sent two people to the hospital with minor injuries, Fire Chief John Mego said.

The two-car accident, involving a blue Mazda 626 and black Jaguar, was called in at about 5:20p — about an hour after a collision a block away — and appeared to be caused by a driver failing to stop at a stop sign at the intersection of Spring Street and Tower Hill Avenue, Mego said. He was unsure at the time of the accident which driver was at fault.

“Somebody didn’t stop,” he said.

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RBFD PUTS OUT FRIDAY MORNING FIRE

mclaren-fire1Red Bank Fire Department put out a McLaren Street fire this morning. The cause of the fire, which was called in at around 11:10a Friday at 105 McLaren, was unknown at the time. “We don’t know what it was,” Chief John Mego said. “We had heavy smoke pouring out the top.” Firefighters quickly had the fire extinguished and were working on cleanup and an investigation by 11:30a. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

MEET YOUR FIRE CHIEFS

fire_04 Six Little Silver Volunteer Fire Department officers were sworn in to their posts Monday. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

[Editor’s Note: This story is updated to include the line officers for Shrewsbury Fire Department.]

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

With the turn of the calendar to 2011, so comes a change of command ’round the Green.

Although many of the same volunteers will be responding to emergency calls, from a slip on an icy sidewalk to an actual blaze, the leaders at area fire departments are different from last year.

To get you up to speed, here’s a quick rundown of your new fire chiefs, all of whose terms expire December 31.

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PEDESTRIAN’S DEATH PROMPTS SAFETY TALKS

maple-w-frontBorough officials have asked the state DOT to look into safety improvements at the Maple Avenue/West Front Street intersection, where a pedestrian was killed two weeks ago. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

The death of a 40-year-old pedestrian two weeks ago has spurred Red Bank police and other officials into discussions with  the New Jersey Department of Transportation over safety at the intersection in which she was hit by a truck.

Additionally, local leadership is brainstorming ways to make walking on borough streets less hazardous, they say.

On the list to accomplish that goal: speed-limit reductions, more four-way stops, and changes to signs and lighting, specifically at the intersection of West Front Street and Maple Avenue, where Laura Martin was hit and killed by a New Jersey Transit truck on October 27.

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DANGEROUS INTERSECTION UNDER REVIEW

petersA police officer is now stationed at Maple Avenue and Peters Place following crossing guard John Mego’s departure. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

One of Red Bank’s busiest intersections is getting a safety review from local officials following the departure of one of its crossing guards over safety concerns.

They didn’t broach the topic Monday night until Audrey Oldoerp, a mother of three, pleaded with the council to make the intersection safer.

“If a crossing guard feels  the intersection is unsafe, how can my children and I cross with any peace of mind?” Oldoerp asked.

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CITING RISKS, MEGO QUITS CROSSING GUARDS

j-megoJohn Mego’s last day as a crossing guard is today. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

He’s in line to be Red Bank’s next fire chief, but a rainstorm last week convinced John Mego that the risk associated with being a crossing guard in town isn’t for him anymore.

Saying he’s “tired of being a hood ornament,” Mego’s last day directing traffic is today.

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MEGO READY FOR A YEAR IN TRAFFIC

megoJohn Mego, back in action. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

mego1It’s a school day, in the afternoon, and there’s traffic in Red Bank. For the most part drivers are quickly readjusting to the stop-and-go routine that comes with trying to get through town shortly after the last bell rings.

Most drivers are, but some aren’t. These people get John Mego’s hackles up.

“If people would just concentrate,” he says, then pauses to jump into the street to stop traffic so a group of girls can cross safely, then returns to the sidewalk, “I wouldn’t have gotten hit.”

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