News Alert
UPDATE: Massive Brush Fire Rages In Berkeley,…

Woman Killed in Crosswalk Was Scotch Plains Resident

Police continue to investigate the fatal accident that occured Wednesday evening on North Avenue West and Tuttle Parkway.

The Union County Prosecutor's Office and continue to investigate a fatal accident that occurred Wednesday night and left one woman dead and another man seriously injured, said Union County Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow.

According to police, around 6:05 p.m. a car driven by Patricia Currie, 68, of Scotch Plains was passing through the intersection of North Avenue at Tuttle Parkway when it appears she grazed a pedestrian as he crossed the street, said Romankow.

Currie immediately stopped and offered assistance to the man, attempting leading him across the street. Witnesses reported that as the two walked across the road, a Chevy Cavalier, driven by a Westfield resident, struck the pair causing injuries and propelling them several yards down North Avenue.

The driver of the Cavalier stopped at the scene and was later taken to a local hospital for observation.

Almost immediately after, a second vehicle driven by a Westfield resident, struck Currie, who was now in the roadway, said Romankow. That vehicle, a GMC pickup, struck Currie causing further injury. She was taken to Overlook Hospital in Summit and pronounced dead a short time later.

The male pedestrian was transported to University Hospital in Newark for treatment.

At this point the case remains an active investigation and at this point no charges have been filed. Detectives continue to interview witnesses and examine evidence.

Additional information will be released as it becomes available.

Sarah Sloan January 27, 2012 at 08:33 PM
Okay Lea.
Ann January 27, 2012 at 08:44 PM
My prayers go out to the families. NR9....I totally agree with you!
A.John Blake January 27, 2012 at 09:29 PM
Ms.Sloan, You have attempted to vilify Mr.Kasko only to spur people on to defend him.you then are rude to some of the defenders and end up accusing all or most of them of being his alter egos.Rather than stick with facts you have indulged in a written temper tantrum worthy of a spoiled child. For whatever reason, you have a personal problem with Mr.Kasko that prohibits you from sticking to logic,facts and decorum in defending your strange position.I suggest that you join some of the other contributors and extend your condolences to those injured and the Currie family.The facts will play out and you will be able to point out to the public either how wrong Mr.Kasko was or how sorry you are for your conduct. A.John Blake
Sarah S Sloan January 30, 2012 at 04:55 PM
Mr. Blake - You seem to come across like you're above the fray, when in fact you propagate these silly conspiracy theories in the most inappropriate manner. Easy for you to judge, isn’t it Mr. Blake? Let me level-set: I can understand a certain level is discontent with town officials…that’s natural, since it’s impossible to please everyone. But seriously, to take this tragic accident and start rumor and unsubstantiated claims is beyond being irresponsible…as well as hurtful to those affected. Whether the driver is found to be under the influence or not wasn’t relevant 12 hours after the accident. What was relevant was waiting for officials to do their investigation, not fanning the flames in this time of pain for those affected by this tragedy. As for past reports by town engineers, again, what’s the upside with stoking the flames within 12 hours of the accident?
Sarah S Sloan January 30, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Of all people, you know the process…as you’ve been an advocate for moving the Central Avenue light and other countless issues. Why even mention this…it’s easy too easy to play “I can do it better” and point fingers at the Mayor and current administration. I don’t agree with many things going on…however we need to weigh the good and bad and do it appropriately….as you yourself have done many times. It’s mean spirited to jump on this bandwagon under the pretence that “I’m doing it for the town” …give us all a break! As for your righteous tone about praying for the family, of course that’s what we’re all doing…except I don’t choose to add to their misery by pointing fingers.
A.John Blake January 30, 2012 at 08:12 PM
Ms. Sloan, having read your comments, I went back to my own comments and determined that I made no reference to conspiracies or drinking. I referred to your inexplicable attacks on Mr. Kasko and your inappropriate vilification of him. The facts will show which of you is correct. My involvement in the Central Ave. Light was more about the duplicity of the Town's statements and the original mistreatment of the affected resident.She was abused when she first went to the Council and the Council's statements to her have been proved to have been , at a minimum, incorrect. Your arguments are without basis in facts and seem to be fueled by some problem you have with Mr. Kasko. There is never a good time to learn that injury or death was caused. it is worse to learn that this was avoidable. There does not seem to be any doubt that two Town employees were involved in this accident right after they left the Knights of Columbus where the had been served alcoholic beverages by a fellow member, a retired Westfield policeman.Both have been tested and we must await the results. No one can know the condition of these men until the results.No one should speculate. The family of the deceased and the injured should be given all the facts. Given the involvement of Town employees, the Public should also be informed. A.John Blake
Sarah S Sloan January 30, 2012 at 08:37 PM
Mr. Blake - You are playing both sides of the fence...you defend Mr. Kasko and his editorial styled blog site, and then go on to say that no one should speculate. You literally say, "no one should speculate", then go on to speculate, "there does not seem to be any doubt that town employees were involved, etc. etc..." You justify this by saying the families have a right to know, to which we can both agree. However, I prefer by letting the process play-out, where you are comfortable stating these "unofficial" sorted details, even at the expense of the families affected. Again, I submit this is very irresponsible behavior. My issue isn't the facts, which will eventually come to light, it's the timing and your insensitive "bull in a china" shop speculation. To hell with who these rumors may harm, as long as you get in your anti town administration rhetoric. Until now I've never had an issue with your points of view, whether I agreed or not...however this time it's clear to me that your more interested in taking it out on the town's administration then are about waiting for the facts. Shame on you.
A.John Blake January 30, 2012 at 09:16 PM
Ms.Sloan, Having read your numerous attacks on various users of this sight and you accusations that they are the alter egos of Mr.Kasko, and having seen your gross speculation, I can understand that you aren't worried about facts. Ms. Currie's family includes an employee of the prosecutor's office so I am sure they are not depending on the Patch for their information.The injured man is still in the hospital and I don't think he is upset with our comments. You have every right to disagree with my "timing", but you can't get away from the facts.As to your comment that my notes here have been anti-administration, I ask you to point out any criticism of Westfield in my comments. There is nothing the Mayor and Council can do about the fact that two co-workers stop for a drink after work and are served by a retired cop. I could not possibly claim this accident had any connection to the Administration.How these comments enter into your arguments is beyond me.. May I also ask you to point out where I speculate?Facts are not speculation. What indication do you have that the two men in this accident are not employed by the Town as crossing guards?that they were served drinks by a retired cop who is also a member?that they were both tested for substances in the blood and that those results will be available on Tues.? None of this is speculation. It is fact. Your rant is baseless and therefore speculation A.John Blake
NR9 January 31, 2012 at 06:06 AM
Unfortunately, we cannot turn back the clock and stop from happening the death and injury that recently took place. But, we CAN make changes to a few previously identified sections of our town's roadways to reduce the likelihood of such events taking place in the future. With regard to this particular intersection and the other dangerous "hot spots" that were identified and studied by Westfield's traffic flow expert/consultant Gordon Meth ("Traffic Calming and Safety Improvements for Eight (8) Locations July 26, 2005")... In those instances where Mr. Meth's recommendations were NOT adopted by our town officials, does anybody know if there a document somewhere (or even just council meeting minutes) that indicate, for EACH "hot spot" location, SPECIFICALLY the reason(s) WHY the safety recommendations were NOT adopted? Does anybody know? I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with not following what a particular expert has recommended to the town. However, I do think that, at a minimum, for each recommendation NOT followed, our elected officials have/had a duty to explain, in an official writing, specifically why such safety recommendations were not being adopted... Most importantly, recent events suggest that the report should be REOPENED and RECONSIDERED by our current elected officials. Furthermore, those officials should then, CLEARLY EXPLAIN TO US, STEP BY STEP, their position on each of Mr. Meth's recommendations and then implement changes (or not) accordingly.
Wally Westfield January 31, 2012 at 02:21 PM
This council will have ample opportunity in a court of law to explain why they didn't adopt these recommnedations as you can guarantee the injured gentleman will be suing eveyone involved in this tragedy.
The Cynic January 31, 2012 at 04:25 PM
Recall what happened in Kenilworth a numbers of years ago. Similar situation. City officials not financially responsible.....tax payers were. Any suit against the town (deep pockets...lawyers will certainly pursue this) will end up being the tax payers burden.
Sarah S Sloan January 31, 2012 at 07:17 PM
Mr. Blake - Just because I don't believe someone, "attack" is a strong word, but one that should be expected from a practicing malcontent who thrives on fanning the flames. As for your claim that you don't constantly bash the town...it's easy to imply (as you would say...:"speculate"), that your history is clear. Your defending of Mr. Kasko about his blog on the engineers report is just another way for you to complain about Westfield. You are by no means neutral on any matter involving the town...of approximately 60 posts you've made since October, there is NOT one positive comment about the town. I'm not even referring to the administration...but about the town of Westfield. It's a wonder why you even choose to live here. I submit the below: - Dr. Perry incident: "It is interesting that organizations in Westfield, accused of improprieties, seem to successfully hide behind silence." - Decreased Manpower regarding Fire response: "I would like to know why the Mayor seems to think this is a labor matter.First and foremost it is a safety issue."
Sarah S Sloan January 31, 2012 at 07:31 PM
(continued) - Fire and rescue squads merging: "This is endangered by the Town's insistence that the budget be the criterion by which the number of firefighters is to be measured." - Manpower debate: "Why shouldn't everyone who writes in to this site appear at a Council meeting or write a letter to the editor of the Patch and the Leader and tell the council to stop fumbling blindly..." - Town council evasion: "The defensive attitude of the Council is absurd. Their mute agreement with the Mayor is not believable..." - Cranford response: "The Council must adopt some restriction on its administrator that he may not act in any way to affect the safety." - Implement new 911: "It would seem that the Town was told of the problem last year.Has anyone inquired why they have waited so long to list this as an expense of the PD?" - School Boilers - "The only reason this boiler problem has become emergent is because of the warped priorities of the former members of the BOE." - Delay in Boilers - "The problem stems from the refusal of Mrs.Walker and her acolytes to face the problem earlier..."
Sarah S Sloan January 31, 2012 at 07:32 PM
(continued) - Fire and rescue squads merging: "This is endangered by the Town's insistence that the budget be the criterion by which the number of firefighters is to be measured." - Manpower debate: "Why shouldn't everyone who writes in to this site appear at a Council meeting or write a letter to the editor of the Patch and the Leader and tell the council to stop fumbling blindly..." - Town council evasion: "The defensive attitude of the Council is absurd. Their mute agreement with the Mayor is not believable..." - Cranford response: "The Council must adopt some restriction on its administrator that he may not act in any way to affect the safety." - Implement new 911: "It would seem that the Town was told of the problem last year.Has anyone inquired why they have waited so long to list this as an expense of the PD?" - School Boilers - "The only reason this boiler problem has become emergent is because of the warped priorities of the former members of the BOE." - Delay in Boilers - "The problem stems from the refusal of Mrs.Walker and her acolytes to face the problem earlier..."
Sarah S Sloan January 31, 2012 at 07:33 PM
(continued) - No injuries in two alarm fire: "He should ask the Council how much of his family's safety was considered when they lowered the number of firemen." - Ciarrocca successor: "The opposition came from its extraordinary placement and the duplicity of the Council's treatment of the objecting parties." - LoGrippo on stoplight: "It is a pleasure to see that the new councilman can speak for himself. He obviously has not had a chance to speak to Ms. Kimmins concerning reprimands for independence." - BOE teacher appointments: "One of the great problems the Westfield taxpayer has is the attitude of the BOE.They appear to be "in bed" with the union..." - Crosswalk replacement: "While work is being done on crosswalks, could some consideration be given to saving some money and paving over those ugly "faux brick" crossings all over town."
Sarah S Sloan January 31, 2012 at 07:34 PM
(continued) - Jazz night: "Jazz Night is a real boost to downtown but I cannot understand the placement of a band at the western extremity of town where no business can possibly benefit from the music." - Power update DPW: "it is unfortunate that the Dept. of Public Works continues to be run by a man with such warped priorities. Claude Shaffer..." - Clyne & Murphy fire: "The Council cannot keep telling us there has been no impact to Public Safety as the number of firemen drops.Be honest and admit they have chosen economy over safety." - Replacing Talbots: Okay...here you're not complaining about the town administration. But you do follow pattern, again complaining about the town: "Anything other than another restaurant,pizza seller,frozen yogurt maker or any chain store presently in any mall around us.?
Sarah S Sloan January 31, 2012 at 07:43 PM
I'm not saying that any of these comments are wrong in anyway...in fact, you make some very good points. But please don't ever claim that you play it neutral and don't have some sort of anti-administration angle. It's way too easy to point at problems and issues as if the people in charge were incompetent and not doing the best they can do. At least they have taken the step to run for office and make a difference,....to which Mr. Kasko should be given credit. But what you provide is a disservice to Westfield. Certainly within these 60 posts you could have said something positive...but no, what you choose to be is nothing more than a constant nagging "fly in the ointment."
NR9 January 31, 2012 at 08:30 PM
@Sarah Sloan. Throughout the history of our great country, people like Mr. Blake have spoken up when they've identified some aspect of the status quo that they, and possibly others, might deem worthy of revisiting and possibly changing. Some examples: With the courage of people like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we no longer have "whites only" and "coloreds" water fountains. Today, women, such as yourself, can vote. No longer do we pay taxes to the King of England. 8-year-old children do not work 90 hour weeks in our factories. For the most part, Mr. Blake's comments tend to primarily be on topics attempting to improve fire safety, traffic safety and accountability of our elected officials. These are very worthy and honorable goals. While one may not necessarily agree with each and every specific point Mr. Blake writes, his goals of seeking to improve safety and government for our town (including you) should be applauded - not ridiculed. If you want to read only about happy stuff, there are plenty of books for that at the library. Perhaps a "coffee table book" with pictures of puppies or kittens or coffee tables? That would be a nice way to spend an afternoon, especially with a cup of hot cocoa and a soft blanket on a cold winter day. Someone's willingness to question/challenge and keep accountable a community's politicians and how a municipality is run, should be welcome in all towns (except in Cuba/N. Korea).
Sarah S Sloan January 31, 2012 at 08:45 PM
Seriously NR9, comparing Mr. Blake to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and our founding fathers? Now I've heard everything. Again, don't deliberately misinterpret my point. I don't question his right to make comments, nor do I even disagree with some of his comments. My point is...it's so easy to sit on the sidelines and play monday morning quarterback. It's too easy, and not very productive when all his does is complain and complain. How about providing some solutions to his complaints...how about sprinkling in something good when something admirable is done. But noooo, Mr. Blake chooses to only focus on negativity...which by all means is his right. I just think it's too easy...which as Mr. Blake would say..."is just a fact." I would suggest his use some sort of filter before he chooses to post every single complaint that pops into his mind...perhaps you should be that filter NR9.
NR9 January 31, 2012 at 08:55 PM
Sometimes, the Monday morning quarterback is needed to figure out a better way to play next Sunday. As for comparisons to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I'm not suggesting that we update all U.S. history textbooks in our schools/universities to include a chapter on Mr. Blake. But we should be happy that we have people in our very own community who are looking to keep our elected officials accountable, seek to improve our municipal services, etc. As for "providing some solutions"... I believe that he does provide suggestions.
Sarah S Sloan January 31, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Okay NR9...whoever you are.
Sally McBride January 31, 2012 at 09:45 PM
@Gregory Kasko, nothing like taking a tragedy and using it to make your political point. They are probably afarid to add lights in front of people's houses because they waste enough of every town meeting dealing with existing complainers
A.John Blake January 31, 2012 at 10:32 PM
Dear Ms. Sloan, My decision to live in Westfield in 1969 down to the present is proof of my feelings for this town. You may object to what you consider negativity. I note however that no comment quoted by you was considered untrue. My objection to you was your unfounded accusations against anyone with whom you found yourself in disagreement.You determined what should be said, when it should be said and pass the "taste test" according to Sarah Sloan. I believe very deeply that the truth should be told fully. Your paternalistic attitude that you would be the arbiter of when information should be available was foolish. When you can print that I have stated a fallacy, I will withdraw. Until then I will continue to speak the facts as I know them.I do not believe that truth is negativity . I do agree with you concerning any comparison of myself to the people named in the comments of NR9.While I normally accept any compliment I can get, I think he delved into a bit of hyperbole. I thank him anyway. A.John Blake
Sarah S Sloan February 01, 2012 at 02:32 PM
My Dearest Mr. Blake - I stated facts as written by you about your attitude towards Westfield and town officials. Again, you try to cleverly speculate that I pass judgement to those to whom I disagree. If I believe the you, Mr. Kasko and NR9 make untold claims against the town...you object. Let's hear something positive out of you about your hometown once in awhile...okay dear?
NR9 February 01, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Response to Sarah Sloan. While I cannot answer for Mr. Blake or Mr. Kasko, since you brought my name into your attack of Mr. Blake, I will respond for myself... Like Mr. Blake, I have lived in Westfield for many years. I love living in Westfield. It's a great town and I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. But, just because a lot about our town is great doesn't mean we ought to just sit back and assume there is nothing to be improved. Clearly, in terms of traffic SAFETY and fire SAFETY, there are a few things that could use some fixing - or else, at an absolute minimum, some healthy discussion, from which some improvements might then be made (or maybe even a conclusion that all is fine). Besides what I think are some pretty obvious changes that could be made to improve some known-to-be-dangerous portions of roadways and what seems like a pretty understaffed fire dept. (where first responders must stand there and watch a structure burn and/or not be able to use our ladder truck until additional staff arrive from other towns), I think our politicians' unwillingness to even engage in such discussion is a problem- a big problem. Those are my key issues- traffic safety, fire safety, politicians willingness to re-visit past decisions/non-decisions they've made for possible reversal of those decisions. But, aside from those topics, I cannot speak for Mr. Blake or Mr. Kasko but I can tell you that I love Westfield - great schools, great parks, great restaurants, etc, etc, etc.
Aristotle February 01, 2012 at 05:13 PM
Can we be done with this tit for tat exchange attached to an article on someone who hasn't even been buried for 3 days? My god, please have some respect. There is plenty of time for facts to come out. How about a mourning period beyond 2 hours?
Sarah S Sloan February 01, 2012 at 05:26 PM
Agreed...no more tit for tat, plenty of time for the facts to come out.
Sarah S Sloan February 01, 2012 at 05:37 PM
Glad to hear it NR9.
faith February 01, 2012 at 08:16 PM
thank u aristotle.........................i AGREEE. stop all this please.
Wally Westfield February 01, 2012 at 09:03 PM
unfortunately this board is eerily similar to council meetings


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