FOLEY’S WRECK CAUSED SECOND CRASH

foley-suvFoley’s SUV in the Atlantic Highlands wrecking yard where it was towed after the accident. (Photo courtesy of Rumson PD)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A motorist crashed into the telephone pole and wires downed by former Fair Haven Fire Chief Shaun Foley in the November 22 Rumson wreck that led to his being charged with drunken driving, according to records obtained by redbankgreen.

Police reports on the accident also reveal that Foley tried to flee the scene in his heavily damaged fire department vehicle before it conked out just a block away, in front of Rumson’s Borough Hall.

As previously reported, 27-year-old Foley, who worked as a Rumson police dispatcher and part-time policeman, then took off on foot to the Oceanic Bridge, a mile away, where he jumped into the Navesink River, prompting a massive rescue effort involving helicopters and boats.

The 17 pages of reports, though, give the first official indication of the earliest stages of the drama that began unfolding shortly before 6p that Sunday evening.

Read More »

FOLEY CRASH WAS SECOND IN 20 MONTHS

img_5763120109The sheared stump of the utility pole struck by Foley’s car on East River Road was still there Monday, more than a week after the accident.

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

[EDITOR’S NOTE: See update below]

Former Fair Haven Fire Chief Shaun Foley had an accident in his fire department vehicle 20 months before a second wreck prompted charges that led to his resignation last week, police records confirm.

A report on the March 16, 2008, accident, which occurred on Ridge Road near Kemp Avenue in Fair Haven, says no test for alcohol was given to Foley.

Foley faces a charge of drunken driving in the more recent incident, which occurred November 22 in Rumson. In that case, police allege that Foley crashed his fire chief’s vehicle into a telephone pole on East River Road shortly before 6p, fled the scene on foot and, after being located a mile away on the Oceanic Bridge, and jumped about 30 feet into the Navesink River, prompting a massive rescue effort. He was uninjured.

In the earlier accident, Foley also smacked a utility pole, according to records obtained by redbankgreen.

Read More »

REGATTA SEEKS QUICK FORMAL APPROVAL

img_5128111409The organizers of the Dad Vail Regatta last night urged elected Rumson officials to give the formal thumbs-up to a plan to host the collegiate rowing event in May, today’s Asbury Park Press reports.

Members of the borough council questioned Dad Vail organizing committee president J.R. Hanna about the logistics of staging the event, which is said to attract some 3,000 athletes and another 12,000 spectators to its present home on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia.

Hanna said it is “urgent” that the council act as early as this month in order for race preparations to begin, the Press reports.

Read More »

PRESS: FOLEY RESIGNS, FACES DUI CHARGE

shaun-foley2-010108Shaun Foley has quit his post as Fair Haven’s fire chief following a bizarre series of incidents Sunday night that began with a car crash and ended with a massive effort to rescue him from the Navesink River, according to the Asbury Park Press.

The 27-year-old Foley has also retained a lawyer and plans to plead not guilty to charges of drunken driving, leaving the scene of an accident, failure to report an accident and reckless driving in Rumson, where he was a police dispatcher and special police officer —jobs that he also resigned Tuesday, the Press reports.

Read More »

CHIEF TO FACE CHARGES FOR ACCIDENT

img_5243112209A Fair Haven Rescue Squad ambulance carries Fire Chief Shaun Foley  from the scene of his  apparent suicide attempt in Rumson Sunday night. Below, Foley in early 2008.

shaun-foley2-010108No charges have yet been filed against Fair Haven Fire Chief Shaun Foley following an accident and apparent suicide attempt that brought a phalanx of rescuers to the Oceanic Bridge in Rumson Sunday evening, according to Rumson Police Chief Ricky Tobias.

A search-and-rescue operation that entailed three helicopters and a team of divers resulted in Foley being fished safely out of the dark waters of the Navesink River after about 45 minutes, Tobias tells redbankgreen.

Foley, who is also a police dispatcher and special officer in the Rumson police department, is reported to be in fair condition at Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune and is expected to be released this afternoon, Tobias says.

Read More »

JUMPER WAS FAIR HAVEN FIRE CHIEF

just_in1The man who jumped into the Navesink River from the Oceanic Bridge in an apparent suicide attempt Sunday night was Shaun Foley, chief of the volunteer fire department in neighboring Fair Haven, that town’s mayor tells redbankgreen.

Mayor Mike Halfacre confirmed the identity after repeated anonymous postings on this site said that the victim was the fire chief.

“This is hard,” Halfacre said. Foley is “a good kid. He’s got some issues. He’s got the town’s full support.”

Read More »

RESCUE EFFORT SHUTS OCEANIC BRIDGE

oceanic-rescueEmergency workers hustled the victim along a dock at Salt Creek Grille to a waiting ambulance.

A possible suicide attempt led to a massive rescue effort near the Oceanic Bridge in Rumson Sunday evening.

Read More »

RUMSON SNAGS REGATTA FOR 2010

img_51361114091For one year at least, the Navesink River off Rumson’s Victory Park will be home to America’s largest collegiate rowing event.

Officials of the Dad Vail Regatta made it official Monday night: the Philly-based college rowing event will be moving to Rumson for 2010, with the possibility of an extended stay.

That’s according to a report in today’s Philadelphia Daily News, citing regatta spokesman Harry Stinger as its source.

Rumson Mayor John Ekdahl also confirmed the decision by the Dad Vail organizing committee, and told the News he’s “thrilled” at the potential economic jolt the event could bring to the region. Some 3,000 rowers from 120 U.S. and Canadian colleges traditionally participate in about 150 races over the course of the weekend-long event.

Ekdahl also said he believes the event “gives us and the sport instant credibility in the Two River area.” Ekdahl said. A crew program was launched three years ago under the joint auspices of the borough recreation department and Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High.

Read More »

COUNTY EXTENDS OCEANIC TRUCK BAN

oceanic

Monmouth County workers on the Oceanic Bridge this morning. Further inspections on the bridge are expected to start later this week. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Monmouth County officials have extended the “conservative” three-ton weight limit on the Oceanic Bridge until at least the beginning of next year, they said Monday morning in a meeting with public officials from Rumson and Middletown, which the Oceanic links.

The self-imposed load limit, which was reduced from 10-tons to three last month, expired Sunday. But county Engineer Joe Ettore said the three-ton limit will stay in effect until Jan. 15 while a state-of-the-art stress testing is conducted.

The limit effectively bans anything larger than a passenger vehicle, a low threshold Ettore said was set  to err on the side of caution. Though there’s no guarantee, the real-time results of the inspections and tests throughout the next six weeks could reveal  that it’s safe to increase the limit to allow emergency vehicles and school buses on the bridge, he added.

Read More »

MAJOR REGATTA EYES MOVE TO RUMSON

img_5131111409The waters off Rumson’s Victory Park may be filled with the sleek sculls of about 120 college rowing teams next May.

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

America’s largest intercollegiate rowing competition, the Dad Vail Regatta, is expected to relocate to Rumson in May, according to Rumson Mayor John Ekdahl.

“It is not official,” Ekdahl told rebankgreen on Saturday, the same day the regatta’s overseers were expected to choose from several competing locales a new site for the event, which has been run on Philadelphia’s Schuylkill River for the past 56 years and draws some 3,000 rowers from 120 schools in the U.S. and Canada.

But “there’s a high probability that they’re going to have it in Rumson,” Ekdahl said. “Behind the scenes we’ve been assured it’s coming.”

Read More »

POLICE: TEEN CURFEW WORKS

curfew09This year, for the first time since 1998, the Mischief Night/Halloween combo falls on a Friday and Saturday. Does that portend trouble in the form of tissued utility lines, egged front doors and soaped-over car windshields?

Not as far as  Red Bank police are concerned. They say crackdown on teenage after-hours loitering in general, and an annual curfew for two nights bookending Halloween in particular, has reduced problems dramatically in recent years.

Though the borough council’s Halloween curfew resolution is a pro-forma item approved each without much discussion, it has the intended effect, police Captain Steve McCarthy believes.

“Everyone respects it,” he said.

Read More »

COUNTY BANS TRUCKS ON OCEANIC BRIDGE

img_8596070209The Oceanic Bridge looking south toward Rumson, as seen last July. Below, a structural element shows signs of deterioration. (Click to enlarge)

Monmouth County has effectively banned trucks from the Oceanic Bridge starting today as engineers conduct a review of the 70-year-old span’s condition.

img_8785070209A three-ton weight limit was announced by the office of county Engineer Joe Ettore yesterday. The Asbury Park Press reports that the reduction is the second in a month, and follows recent work on the drawbridge mechanism and inspections the structure, which traverses the Navesink River between Rumson and Middletown.

“We put an inspector over the side (of the bridge) to grease the mechanical components and inspect the bridge,” Ettore said. “As a result of the findings, we feel we need to downpost the weight limit. We need a more detailled look and analysis of the conditions we observed.”

County engineers and an expert on movable bridges will make an inspection of the bridge Friday, Ettore said.

Read More »

WOMAN UNINJURED IN RUMSON SUV FLIP

just_in1Rumson police are investigating the cause of an accident Friday night in which an SUV rolled over on Bingham Avenue shortly after the conclusion of the annual fireworks show.

The driver, a Middletown woman whose name was not released by police, was treated and released that night from Riverview Medical Center, according to Chief Richard Tobias.

Tobias said the SUV was heading northbound on Bingham  shortly before 10p when it struck three parked cars and a fourth vehicle heading south before rolling over one and half times, coming to rest on its roof.

Read More »