Police: Dozing driver caused four-vehicle Route 23 crash

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By Charles Kim

WEST MILFORD – Police say a sleeping driver caused a four-car crash on Route 23 north Wednesday afternoon.

The accident took place at 2:11 p.m. on Route 23 north, about 150 feet from Cross Road.

According to police, William Nielson-Dewitt, 38, of Highland Lakes, fell asleep at the wheel of the 2001 Nissan he was driving and first struck the right rear of a 2015 Jeep, driven by Alexis Corter, 26, of Sussex, who was stopped for a red light in the left lane of the road.

The Nissan then hit the rear of a white, 2017 box truck driven by Peter Elia, 38, of Brookside, who was stopped for the light in the right lane.

The second collision forced the truck into the rear of a 2004 Honda, driven by Anthony Galluzzo, 53, of Hamburg, police said.

West Milford First Aid Squad members and paramedics treated Nielson-Dewitt at the scene and then transported him by helicopter to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Paterson for treatment.

West Milford Police Detective Sgt. Joe Walker said that Nielson-Dewitt and the other drivers only suffered minor injuries in the crash.

“(Mr. Nielson-Dewitt) is lucky to be alive,” Walker said. “There was extensive damage to his vehicle.”

According to the police report, Nielson-Dewitt told responding officers that he may have fallen asleep at the wheel right before the crash.

Nielson-Dewitt received a summons for reckless driving and a second motor vehicle offense, police said.

Three of the four vehicles were towed from the scene and a Hazmat unit had to clean up fuel from the truck that had spilled on the road, police said.

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