MULLICA TOWNSHIP — A woman died Sunday night in a two-car accident on Nesco Road that also left three adults and two children seriously injured.
Mullica police did not release the victim’s name Sunday night pending family notification. She was 37.
The accident occurred about 5:40 p.m. on Nesco Road between Columbia Road and Moores Avenue. A 1996 Dodge minivan driven by the victim collided head-on with a 2012 Buick. Police are unsure what caused the vehicles to collide on the 45-mile-per-hour road.
The minivan flipped over and briefly caught fire following the collision.
Mullica Township Police Chief John Thompson Jr. issued a news release calling the scene “horrific” given the circumstances and the number of people injured.
Neighbors who witnessed the accident played a significant role in the rescue, police said. When the minivan caught fire, a woman ran outside with a fire extinguisher to squelch the flames. Passengers were pulled from the minivan by several neighbors and others who stopped to help.
“This agency would like to thank those that ran out of their homes and those that were passing by who stopped and offered assistance,” Thompson said.
The Buick was occupied by a couple from the Sweetwater section of the township. The driver, Judith Calderone, 64,was airlifted to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, City Campus in Atlantic City, with head and chest injuries. Her husband, Joseph Calderone, 71, was transported by ambulance to the same hospital.
The minivan was also occupied by one adult and two children. An 8-year-old girl suffered significant head and chest trauma and was airlifted to Cooper University Hospital in Camden. A 5-year-old girl, whose injuries were not disclosed, was initially transported to AtlantiCare’s Mainland Campus in Galloway Township but was later transferred to Cooper. The children’s identities were not released due to the pending death notification of their relative, police said.
Miguel Santiago, 49, of Hammonton, was a passenger in the minivan. He suffered chest injuries and was airlifted to Cooper.
A nursing supervisor at AtlantiCare’s city campus said family members did not want the Calderones’ conditions released. Santiago was listed in critical condition late Sunday night.
Nesco Road was shut down for about five hours while an investigation took place. The Nesco, Elwood, and Sweetwater volunteer fire companies also responded.
Anyone who may have witnessed the crash is asked to call Mullica police at 609-561-7600.
Contact Jennifer Bogdan