A man who left his girlfriend belted into his car after he crashed through the ice into a frozen river has been arrested and charged with her death.
Jacob Garrett, 24, of Burlington City, New Jersey, was speeding along Riverbank Road with his 23-year-old girlfriend, Stephanie White, also of Burlington City. Garrett slammed into a parked minivan near Wood Street, sending his car flying over a metal barrier and into the ice-covered Delaware River below, the Burlington County Times reported.
The accident occurred around 1 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 14.
Garrett escaped from the car but left his girlfriend behind. Witnesses who saw the crash and rushed to help told Patch.com that Garret told them, “Help my girlfriend,” before fleeing the scene.
Emergency workers, who found White in the car still wearing her seatbelt, extricated her and transported her to Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County in Willingboro, where was pronounced dead.
Burlington County police used a K9 team to follow Garrett’s scent trail to Burlington Towne Center North light rail platform on West Broad Street.
According to ABC-6, the police ordered the train Garret was on to stop at Beverly/Edgewater Park station, where officers from the Beverly City, Edgewater Park and Burlington City police departments arrested him.
Garrett was then transported to Lourdes Medical Center for evaluation, before being taken to the Burlington City jail.
Garrett was charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident, causing death while driving with a suspended license, and endangering an injured victim, the Burlington County Times reported. Further criminal charges may be pending, as well as motor vehicle summonses.
Second Fatal Crash Into Icy Water
The tragic death of White was the third resulting from cars crashing into icy waters in Burlington County over the weekend.
Two cars collided on Route 130 at Bridgeboro Road on around 5 p.m. on Saturday, Jan 13, nj.com reported.
Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office Spokesman Joel Bewley told nj.com that one of the cars slid down an embankment into a frozen lake. Both occupants died.
Robert Stephens, 52, and his wife, Janet, 50, were heading north on Route 130 when 29-year-old Amish Patel, who was driving at excessive speed, lost control and hit the Stephens’ minivan, nj.com reported.
The van went over the guardrail, down an embankment, and plunged into Olympia Lake.
Emergency responders removed the couple from the submerged vehicle and transported them to Lourdes Medical Center, where they were pronounced dead.
“The investigation will focus on whether criminal behavior was responsible for the collision and the subsequent deaths,” County Prosecutor Scott Coffina said in a statement. “Several factors are involved in forming a conclusion, including the results of toxicology tests conducted on blood drawn from Patel following the collision,” nj.com reported.