One man was killed and four others injured while moving a disabled vehicle off the shoulder of the Garden State Parkway in Lacey Township, state police said.

The driver of the vehicle that struck and killed Anibal Espinoza, 34, of North Plainfield, has been charged with causing death or injury while driving unlicensed and under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance.

Icy conditions contributed to more than 20 crashes involving more than 40 vehicles from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday along the same 10-mile stretch of highway in Ocean County.

Latest Video

A silver Ford Focus driven by Gabrielle Pacquing, 22, of Barnegat, spun out of control along the right shoulder of the northbound lanes near mile post 74.7.

The disabled vehicle prompted Mario Morge, 37, of North Plainfield, to pull over the red Chevy van he was driving to assist Pacquing. The other three occupants of the van — including Anibal Espinoza; Orlando Espinoza, 37; and Oscar Valladares, 33, all of North Plainfield — joined Pacquing in pushing the vehicle to a safer location.

At about 4:46 p.m., a gold Chrysler PT Cruiser driven by Eric Hernandez, 26, of New London, Conn., spun out of control and struck Anibal Espinoza and the disabled vehicle.

Anibal Espinoza was transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, Monmouth County, where he was pronounced dead.

Pacquing and Valladares were also transported to JSUMC with minor injuries. Morge and Orlando Espinoza were transported to Community Medical Center in Toms River, Ocean County, with minor injuries.

Police charged Hernandez with causing death or injury while driving unlicensed, being under the influenced of a CDS and obstruction. He was lodged at the Ocean County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail.

Hernandez's passenger, Carl Vina, 26, also of New London, was charged with being under the influence of a CDS and obstruction. She was released on her own recognizance.


Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.