TOMS RIVER – A man was found deceased in the shoulder of Route 37 after being hit by a car early this morning, police said.
Around 5:45 a.m., the Toms River Police Department were dispatched to the area of Route 37 E and Marian Street regarding a man wandering in the street in the westbound lanes. Shortly after, the department received another call that a pedestrian was hit in the eastbound lanes.
Jillian Messina, spokesperson for the Toms River Police, said that officers found the pedestrian dead in the shoulder of Route 37 E, eastbound. The involved car was found in the parking lot of Pine Belt Nissan.
Messina said that the pedestrian, who was identified as 39-year-old Joseph L. Witty Jr. 39 of Toms River was walking south across Route 37E when he was nearly struck by passing cars in the westbound lanes. He continued walking, crossing over the median and back onto the highway when he was hit by an oncoming car.
According to evidence, Witty was in the travel lane when he was hit and was not in a crosswalk or on the shoulder.
There was no indication of cell phone use or impairment by the driver at the time of the crash, Messina said.
The accident is under investigation by Toms River Traffic Safety Officer Adam Koeppen. Assisting on scene was the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, Ocean County Sheriff’s Department, and the New Jersey State DOT Diversion Team. There are no charges against the driver, Messina said.