PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. (CBS) — Officials have identified the three people killed in a head-on crash that left Ridge Pike closed for several hours in Plymouth Township late Thursday night. Police say the deceased are 38-year-old Wilfredo Martinez and 30-year-old Justin Ruberti, both of Vineland, New Jersey, and 58-year-old Alexander Montanez, of Philadelphia.
Thirty-seven-year-old Luis A. Serrano, of Vineland, was transported to Temple University Hospital in critical condition. He was a passenger in the SUV.
The crash happened when a Honda Pilot SUV failed to negotiate a curve, crossed the median and crashed head-on into a minivan at the five-point intersection of Ridge Pike, Chemical Road and Colwell Lane around 11:50 p.m.
The driver of the minivan was trapped inside and pronounced dead at the scene.
The SUV driver was also trapped and a passenger was ejected from the vehicle. Both were pronounced dead at the scene.
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“Unfortunately, it was a horrific accident, that’s exactly how I described it when I saw it,” Plymouth Township Police Chief John Myrsiades said. “We’ve seen a lot of crashes over our career and this one was particularly bad, especially the vehicle that was impacted by the van.”
Police say the SUV was registered in New Jersey.
There is reportedly no indication of drugs or alcohol, but it was raining at the time and police believe the SUV was speeding.
“It was impact at full speed,” Myrsiades said. “It does not appear at this time that any brakes were used or anything to slow down.”
People familiar with the area call say it’s a very busy and dangerous five-point intersection.
“It is a confusing intersection for people,” a resident said. “I guess as a local resident, growing up around here, it’s hard for me to identify with. Constantly people making u-turns, right here, to get to Chemical Road when there is a left hand turning lane. It is a five-way intersection to get any street around here.
“So it is kind of, you know, that’s the number one thing you hear is cars skidding because of someone making a u-turn in the middle of the street.”
The speed limit on the road is 35 mph.
The intersection was shut down for about six hours as police conducted their investigation.