goleader.com - Union County, NJ Newspapers 97sep11

Three Hurt in Traffic Mishap At Downtown Intersection

By SUZETTE STALKER Specially Written for The Westfield Leader

Three people were injured in a traffic accident September 3 at the corner of East Broad Street and Central Avenue, when their car struck two trees near the side windows of The Gap clothing store.

The 1990 Buick, driven by Frank Burns, 80, of Linden, was traveling westbound on East Broad Street when he attempted to turn onto Central Avenue at 10:16 a.m., authorities said.

According to Detective Sergeant John Parizeau of the Westfield Police Department, Mr. Burns failed to yield to eastbound traffic and clipped a 1994 Chevrolet Wagon operated by Linda Messina, 43, of Westfield as he made the turn. She was not injured.

The Buick traveled up onto the sidewalk, knocking down a small tree before coming to rest against a larger tree several yards away near the curb on Central Avenue. The impact demolished the front of the vehicle. No one on the sidewalk was injured.

Mr. Burns and his two passengers, Rita Eisenkerch, 74, and Susan Eisenkerch, 41, also of Linden, sustained head injuries in the accident and were transported to Rahway Hospital by the Westfield Volunteer Rescue Squad.

Rita Eisenkerch had been sitting in the passenger seat of the vehicle, while Susan Eisenkerch had been riding in the back seat, Sergeant Parizeau said.

Mr. Burns and Susan Eisenkerch were treated and released that day, according to Colleen Delaney, Public Affairs Manager at Rahway Hospital. Rita Eisenkerch was admitted to the hospital and was discharged on Sunday.

Sergeant Parizeau said no charges had been leveled against Mr. Burns. He confirmed that there was not a police officer directing traffic at the scene when the incident occurred.

The busy intersection, in the heart of Westfield’s downtown, has been the site of several recent traffic accidents. In June, a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle as he was crossing the Central Avenue crosswalk. The driver was issued summonses for careless driving and failure to yield to a pedestrian.

At that time, police said that an officer is assigned to traffic duty at the intersection when manpower is available, but there are times when the department is unable to station someone there.

Copyright 1997
TheWestfield Leader
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Revised: September 14, 1997.