Home Police, Fire & Courts Two Pedestrians, Ages 77 and 90, Struck in Brick ShopRite Parking Lot

Two Pedestrians, Ages 77 and 90, Struck in Brick ShopRite Parking Lot

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A vehicle after it crashed into the Brick Shop Rite store. (Submitted Photo)
A vehicle after it crashed into the Brick Shop Rite store. (Submitted Photo)

The two pedestrians who were struck by a vehicle in the parking lot of the Brick ShopRite supermarket Friday morning were senior citizens, as were the drivers of two vehicles involved in the incident.

According to Brick police, Vincenza Riccio, 88, of Brick, was traveling north in her 1998 Toyota Corolla in a parking aisle of Kohl’s Plaza in the area of the ShopRite store, while Mary Gagliano, 85, of Toms River, was traveling south in the same parking aisle in a 1998 Hyundai Sonata.

At the same time, Joel Strasser, 77, of Brick, was walking south with a shopping cart alongside the Hyundai, when the Toyota veered to the left, hitting the Hyundai while making slight contact with Strasser. The Toyota then continued toward the ShopRite building, jumping the curb to the sidewalk and ultimately hitting the building. As the car hurled toward the building, a second pedestrian, Elizabeth Simpson, 90, of Lakewood, was struck while pushing a shopping cart.

A vehicle after it crashed into the Brick Shop Rite store. (Submitted Photo)
A vehicle after it crashed into the Brick Shop Rite store. (Submitted Photo)
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Strasser was not injured, however Simpson was being treated for a leg injury and had to be airlifted to Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Neptune. Riccio, the driver of the Toyota, suffered possible internal injuries and was taken by ambulance to Jersey Shore.

An employee from the Brick Township building department responded to check the buildings structure and deemed it to be safe, said Sgt. Neal Pedersen.

The Brick police Traffic Safety Division is investigating the crash and is interested in speaking with any witnesses that might have witnessed the crash. Witnesses are urged to contact the division at 732-262-1143.


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  • Smokin

    Need to retest the older driver..that happens almost everyday…dangerous…

    • We need Toyota to admit to its CONTINUED sudden unintended acceleration problem! Deaths have resulted!

      • disqus_SSnOVFiYjM

        We need you to take you meds. Toyota won’t admit to something that doesn’t exist, ignoramus. Don’t be dumb.

    • Azar Hadi

      You need to read about Toyota and Lexus sudden unintended acceleration. We are all in danger due to these runaway, out of control cars.

    • Mac

      most responsible states in America maintain a DMV program that requires all of their drivers to take a new written and eye test every three years – those drivers with tickets and/or accidents are also required to take a new physical driving test – however, in NJ, DMV leadership is more concerned about keeping their driver’s licenses out of the hands of foreign terrorists than traffic safety – bottom line: without being able to show a police officer approaching a driver this $5- per year Cracker Jack card prize, the cop is more likely to be dead on the spot than having an opportunity to return to his/her car to verify the information – there are much more intelligent ways to improve traffic safety without politically corrupt smoke screens

  • During a lot of panic crashes, influenced or not by drugs or alcohol, right foot pedal error plays a major negative role. It is so wide spread that it is called THE RIGHT FOOT BRAKING EPIDEMIC. Despite this the guys in charge of driver legislation and training don’t want to have this method of braking scientifically examined. leftfootbraking.org

    • It’s what’s happening in the VEHICLES before any defensive braking occurs! These RUNAWAY vehicles are a menace and DEADLY!

      • disqus_SSnOVFiYjM

        Because they’re not pressing the brake or are pressing it too late. Quit being dumb.

      • Cynic17

        Is there the SLIGHTEST bit of evidence that this is an unintended acceleration case? Is there any evidence that 1998 Corollas had a sudden acceleration problem?

        No and no. You can repeat this same garbage 20 more times on this forum and it will still be just that: garbage.

      • Rick Chase

        Don’t confuse her with facts.

    • Azar Hadi

      There is no confusion with pedals, it is sudden unintended acceleration..

      The U.S. Justice Department announced a criminal fraud charge against Toyota Motor for misleading customers about unintended acceleration complaints in its cars, and said it would defer prosecution in exchange for a $1.2 billion fine, the largest in history against any automaker. The government also said it would appoint an independent monitor to review Toyota’s safety processes and reporting procedures for the next three years.

  • J W

    Old people like this are a menace on this town’s roads. It’s gotten so bad, they’re killing each other now.

    • Toyota & Lexus vehicles are a menace to other motorists, pedestrians, & buildings/storefronts!

      • disqus_SSnOVFiYjM

        Because of the drivers inside of them. Toyota and Lexus have nothing to do with the driver pressing the wrong pedal, ignoramus. Don’t be dumb.

    • Azar Hadi

      Read about Toyota and Lexus sudden unintended acceleration.

    • Mac

      oh yeah, old people are a menace? what are you going to do when old age comes to you?

      • disqus_SSnOVFiYjM

        It already has, judging by her picture. So has senility.

      • J W

        I’ll be dead by then.

      • Mac

        good luck with that i guess

    • KaayC

      Young dumbasses no bargain either.

      • J W

        More worried about the old farts. We all know they’ve got nothing to live for and can’t even remember where they live most of the time.

    • Scott

      JW do you have any facts to back up your statement? There are certainly many seniors in the Brick area but accusation without facts are just a lot of hot air (or in this case a lot of hot keypad typing)

  • avp0713

    Its Senior Citizen “Run Amuck” month in Ocean County… we’re all sitting ducks now.

    • Hmm…are most or all of the vehicles Toyotas? Are the crashes happening in parking lots like this one?

      • disqus_SSnOVFiYjM

        Most old people press the wrong pedal in parking lots, yes. It’s because they’re transitions from part to drive, or reverse. Toyota has nothing to do with it. Don’t be dumb.

      • Rick Chase

        “are most or all of the vehicles Toyotas?” A Toyota and a Sonata BOTH which were ’98s so have squat for electronics. Nothing to see here.

    • Azar Hadi

      Google and read about the long history of Toyota and Lexus sudden unintended acceleration.

    • Azar Hadi

      There is a BIG hidden secret in the auto industry…it’s called ELECTRONIC sudden unintended acceleration! I know…you thought that was just about FLOOR MATS and sticky pedals, or “driver error,” right? That’s certainly what TOYOTA would like you to continue to believe, BUT DON’T!

      These ultra-complex new engines are completely computer driven. Software is needed to control the throttle system. You THINK you are giving gas when you press the accelerator, but you are only SUGGESTING this to the computer. In electronic SUA cases, the throttle software may be glitch-prone and NOT do as you wish.

      What happens then? Well, the glitch may (and has for countless SUA victims) result in an OPEN THROTTLE situation. The brakes become INEFFECTIVE in these situations and crashes into storefronts, buildings, and homes have resulted.

      What does the automaker say? They hook the vehicles up to the computer and declare NOTHING WRONG! They cite the EDR which has erroneous data and say YOU were NOT braking. They point the finger at you based on AGE, GENDER, MEDICAL history, prescription meds, etc. YOU name it, they’ve TRIED it!

      Get the picture? And you THOUGHT the GM issue was big? Think again! This cover-up of ELECTRONIC SUA is scandalous and very well-orchestrated.

      Why even a WHISTLEBLOWER has been legally harassed by Toyota as it does NOT want her Toyota internal docs posted online anymore. The automaker wants to intimidate and SILENCE her. It doesn’t want the PUBLIC involved, for goodness sake!

      • Mac

        ah, so what you’re saying is: big business deception protected by big government corruption – in America no less – who would of thought? – does this action also come with the Chris Christie seal of approval?

  • Mark Story Jenks

    Age seems to be a factor in todays situation. We’re all getting there, man. Regardless of age though, when there are too many people in a confined space and motor vehicles and pedestrians are involved, bad things will and do happen. All to often tragedies occur in and around that shopping plaza. It can be a very scary place. I miss the A&P. I didn’t have to cross six lanes of traffic to catch my bus back then. I hope I don’t become a statistic just because Brick Township gives little or no consideration to pedestrians.

    • Vehicle make and model seem to be at play here! Toyota & Lexus vehicles are predisposed to sudden unintended acceleration!

      • disqus_SSnOVFiYjM

        Stupidity and baseless assumptions seem to be at play here. Toyota and Lexus were proven to be safe, ignoramus. Don’t be dumb.

      • Mac

        as opposed to most of NJ’s elected leaders, who are far more skilled at just sucking it up instead of any acceleration, good or bad

    • KaayC

      Well stated, Jenks.

  • Mark Story Jenks

    It is so easy for us to sit behind our keyboards and point the finger of blame on “old” people. In truth, if one were to compile statistics on car accidents involving motor vehicle drivers and bicycles and pedestrians, we might be surprised at the numbers and ages. Yes we do have a high population of senior citizens around here. They pay a lot in taxes but don’t have kids in our schools. And I do know that some of them shouldn’t be behind a wheel. But I also know seniors who drive much better then a lot of middle aged or even younger people.
    It must be hard for a senior to give up that bit of independence, to be able to drive themselves and/or their spouses (if they’re lucky enough) to where they need to be. Maybe in some situations, caring younger family members who are local should have more say in such decisions. I have known of sad situations where a prior intervention quite possibly could have averted a tragedy. And the supposed “reasons” vary from not wanting to be mean spirited, to just not wanting to have to carry the extra load of having to take an elder shopping or to and from the doctor.
    It could be someone being stubborn. Or someone being selfish. But even if one were healthy enough to walk, walking anywhere more then a block or so in Brick is really not an option.
    We need to change how we do things.

    • Spell Check

      This town is on the verge of collapse you need to see around you and prevent it from happening. Toms river strong Jackson strong but brick is falling the seniors will have a worse situation when tax baiters invade pal. Less tax revenue less jobs

  • TOYOTA COROLLA. Enough said. Tin whiskers and sudden unintended acceleration! See Dr. Henning Leidecker’s work.

  • Marley

    My goodness all of you sound ridiculous. It was a simple accident. Obviously the car didn’t “hurl” toward the building and yet cause no structural damage to the building. The injured man made “slight” contact with the car but yet again overreaction by air lifting him to Jersey Shore instead of a quick trip to the hospital five minutes away. I do agree the elderly drivers should be tested and possibly have their licenses rescinded but to blame the Toyota for this is asinine.

  • Rick Chase

    Old people driving old cars, hitting old pedestrians. Hmmm… Anyway, I’m sure the police will sort everything out in due time and find out what happened. Since I was neither in either of the vehicles nor was I even present, I’m not about to speculate on what happened;
    Something I do question though, is why someone with a broken leg was air-lifted to the hospital and someone with internal injuries was taken by ambulance. somehow, that doesn’t make sense, but again, I wasn’t there.
    Bottom line, here’s hoping for a full recovery for all involved.

    • Mac

      lol – I gave that transporation a quick thought too

    • Rick Chase

      Note to self:
      Brake pedal⇨ ▇ ▌⇦ Gas Pedal

  • Spell Check

    New politicians need to be put in here . We have a collapsing town. Getty closed In center of town I only wonder how long that will be abandoned and have toxic mess getting into our water supplies

    • KaayC

      Where was the Getty, Spell?

      • Spell Check

        next to rt 70 and target. adding to the number of potential contamination areas. I live on Adamstown and drive past the abandoned one on Mantoloking every day for the last decade. we cant allow that in the middle of town !

      • KaayC

        Thanx for the headsup, Spell. And btw I agree w. you.

  • Mike

    Let’s put it in simple terms, if we ‘young-ins’ hit a car in a parking lot we stop, get out and handle it. We don’t freak out and jam our foot down on the accelerator causing bodily harm and property damage. I can’t even count how many times I have read ” I mistook the gas for the brake” which in 39 years of driving I have NEVER done.

    • J W

      Exactly, if anyone other than an old fart had done this, they would have been arrested on the spot. Instead, some doddering old man gets a pass because it would be ‘too mean’ to enforce public safety.

      • Spell Check

        I agree with you this time

  • KaayC

    That shopping center is horrible! There really is no safe way to negotiate it as a pedestrian. I have always said that by the time you drive, park, deal with crazy Shoprite and prepare to leave, I don’t know how our elderly can do it! Even the exit to the Shoprite is nutz with one doorway for both those entering and exiting! I am going to guess that the same genius who thought that up, thought up the parking lot scheme there and at Costco. Little to no thought goes into pedestrian safety. Everyone is in a hurry to park or exit; it is so dog eat dog unpleasant. I miss the less overcrowded shopping of days gone by. How awful for all involved especially for the 90 year old. Just so traumatic. I wish them a good recovery.

    • Spell Check

      The apartments behind the shopping center are going to become an epicenter of trouble to come shop right plaza hasn’t seen the townhouses being built right now. There will be more vehicle traffic and more pedestrians wandering around that plaza is going downhill. Needs a good food place in that shopping center and to make that McDonald’s clean up its a dump

    • KaayC

      God help us!