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Montclair Crash Traps Man in Car

A four-door Jaguar with at least one person inside crashed into a tree in Yantacaw Brook on Thursday evening.

A car crash left its driver trapped between his car and tree for nearly two hours before police could get him out late Thursday evening. 

A blue, four-door Jaguar with at least one person inside crashed into a tree in Yantacaw Brook on Yantacaw Brook Road around 7:30 p.m. on Thursday. The car appeared to have driven over the curb, sidewalk and hit the tree about 15 feet from the street near the intersection of Heller Drive. 

The brook was cordoned off with police tape as more than 15 police, fire and emergency vehicles from Montclair and at least one surrounding town were called to the scene. 

In an attempt to release the driver from the vehicle, emergency personnel brought in generators for power tools to cut off the roof, front- and rear-windshield, and both doors on the driver’s side. Fire engines with large floodlights were used to light the scene.   

The driver, which appeared to be a young, African-American man, was finally pulled from the car and placed on a stretcher at about 9:15 p.m.

It is not know whether there was another occupant in the car. 

The small brook flows through a long, narrow piece of land scattered with large trees. The road has few streetlights, and is lined with estate-style homes. 

A woman who lives on Yantacaw Brook Road and asked not to be named said people are constantly speeding on the street. 

“We all say [an accident] was bound to happen,” said the woman. “This is used as a cut-through street and a lot of people are speeding down here at 11 o’clock at night and especially after school.” 

Concerned neighbor October 19, 2012 at 10:38 AM
There was a passenger as well that was takento an ambulance quickly. I live on this street as well. It is sorely in need of speed bumps. Many drive over the speed limit here. This street is heavily used by many walking their dogs, exercising - not to mention kids playing - we're fortunate more weren't hurt.
Janet Shapiro October 19, 2012 at 11:16 AM
I too live on this street and agree with Concerned Neighbor - the street is constantly used as a speed strip, often after the drivers have been partying in Yantacaw Brook Park. Twice cars have jumped the curb and wound up in our front yard. For the record, although the accident happened directly across the street from two large homes, most of the houses on Yantacaw Brook Road are far more modest. It's fairer to say that the street is lined with 3-bedroom homes, with a sprinkling of estate-style homes.
Bob Mellman October 19, 2012 at 12:21 PM
Scary. Speed bumps would be a great improvement. Many years ago, we lost a neighbor to a fatal speeding episode, much like this one, on North Mountain Avenue. I remember when the residents of the street successfully campaigned for road-narrowing lane markers and speed bumps. Seems like it was a great improvement. I'm happy that this accident didn't result in fatalities. Many thanks to the emergency and rescue workers. I've often seen people using North Fullerton Avenue, north of Watchung, as a speedway at night. Some speed bumps would be helpful there, too, particularly near its accident-prone intersection with Gordonhurst. There are four - yes, 4! - stop signs on Gordonhurst at the North Fullerton intersection, and it's amazing to me how they are routinely ignored.
Concerned neighbor October 19, 2012 at 12:52 PM
Agree with Bob. The rescue workers were wonderful. Their hard work and professionalism is greatly appreciated.
Christa Rapoport October 19, 2012 at 01:03 PM
Should we have speed bumps on every street? If all would drive the posted speed limits on every street we would have safe streets. Folks in this town drive the speed limit on their street and speed elsewhere.
Dbc October 19, 2012 at 02:48 PM
Whether they were speeding or not, let's hope that poor child stuck in the car will be OK. It was a terrible scene. There was another boy on a gurney with his neck stabilized (I assume the passenger) but it didn't appear that he was in an emergency situation. It seems the kids on FB know the young man involved and he is part of the Montclair community.
DO October 19, 2012 at 04:15 PM
I live around the corner and arrived at the scene as they were trying to cut the driver out. Agree that this was just a matter of time. Montclair MUST put in some speed bumps on Yantacaw Brook. People travelling at twice the speed limit is an everyday occurence on this street. Kids playing on the lawns on that street are also an everyday occurence. More than just bad drivers are at risk here.
Concerned neighbor October 19, 2012 at 04:31 PM
The driver is a senior @ MHS - our thoughts are with both passengers and their families. May they be well soon.
Audrey Lynn Wanich October 19, 2012 at 08:38 PM
It's become second nature that I just pull over and let the car tailgating me pass. It's great that most people do the right thing, but all it takes is one speeding, phone yapping driver to put others at risk. Tougher penalties (confiscate phones) as well as speed bumps are in order.
Mom at bus October 20, 2012 at 07:32 PM
There are only TWO stop signs on Gordonhurst and North Fullerton. North Fullerton has the right of way. Most accidents occur when drivers on Gordonhurst do not obey the Stop. I stand there everyday for my childrens school bus.

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