Widow Taking Legal Action After Scientist Husband Was Killed At NJ Intersection

A New Jersey widow is taking legal action to obtain additional details from a New Jersey police department in the crash that killed her 32-year-old husband last fall.

Matthew Bunner

Matthew Bunner

Photo Credit: With family permission

Matthew H. Bunner, a scientist with Bristol Myers Squibb and a University of Pennsylvania graduate, was out for a walk when he was struck and killed by a 66-year-old driver in East Brunswick at about 8:15 p.m. on Sept. 1, 2023, according to the police report and his obituary.

The crash occurred near the intersection of Cranbury Road and Henley Drive Bunner was stepping into the crosswalk from the center grassy median when the fatal crash occurred, the police report said.

The driver from Monroe remained at the scene and was not charged, according to the police report.

The attorney retained by Bunner’s widow, Rosalie Doerksen Bunner, William Crutchlow, told Daily Voice he is working to determine "if there are grounds to pursue a lawsuit against the driver of the vehicle that struck and killed him and, potentially, others."

Others being those responsible for the safety of the intersection where the crash occurred, he said.

Crutchlow filed Open Public Records Act requests with the East Brunswick Police Department seeking the entire investigatory file including a copy of the detailed accident report, inspection records of the Honda that Bunner was struck by, body camera footage, and more. The attorney has also requested autopsy photos from the Middlesex Regional Medical Examiner’s Office.

"Some, and maybe all, of this information has been produced – we have been unable to get clarification on that point," Crutchlow said on Wednesday, March 20. "The information that we do have reflects a very limited investigation considering that this was a known fatal accident from the time that it occurred."

Lt. Jason Fama, an East Brunswick police spokesman, said the department does not comment on pending litigation.

"We're looking to see if there's basis to bring a civil suit against the driver of the car that hit him," Crutchlow said. "If not, to see if the town, county or anyone else controlling intersection, stop lights, crosswalks or overall safety is at fault."

"The driver said he thought Mr. Brunner had come off a center median leaving him no chance to avoid the accident," Crutchlow said. "Police are taking the driver’s word for it because there are no other witnesses, or at least any that have come forward."

At Penn, Matthew served as president of the Penn Judo Club, eventually earning a black belt in judo, according to his obituary.

"Matt was the type of person who knew a lot about everything, and he used his intelligence and his talents to help as many people as he could," his obituary said. 

"He was humble, generous, immensely kind, and always strove to be the best version of himself." 

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