A New Jersey State Police cruiser was struck twice during a wild pursuit that began on Route 80 and ended on a quiet suburban street, authorities said.
The cruiser was one of three NJSP vehicles in all that were damaged by a stolen van whose two occupants – a man and woman -- bailed out and fled following a nearly half-hour chase, they said.
It began when a trooper tried to stop the speeding white Ford Econoline on westbound Route 80 in Woodland Park shortly before 7 p.m. Wednesday, NJSP Trooper Charles Marchan said.
The driver exited the interstate onto the Route 23 service road in Wayne, then continued down several local streets before barreling across the grass in North Cove Park, Marchan said.
The van continued through the Wayne PAL parking lot, where it struck two state police cruisers, he said.
The driver kept going onto Route 23, then on eastbound Route 80 to Route 19, Marchan said.
The van then entered the Garden State Parkway, where it hit two State Police cars -- including one that was struck earlier in Wayne, he said.
The pursuers lost the van after it made a U-turn and left the parkway at Exit 151 in Bloomfield.
They found it a short time later at a Darling Avenue home behind a TD Bank branch on Kingsland Street in Nutley, the trooper said.
Surveillance cameras in the area captured images of the two occupants fleeing on a dirt bike toward Belleville, responders said.
No injuries were reported, Marchan said.
Anyone who has information that could help identify and/or capture those responsible is asked to contact New Jersey State Police: (609) 882-2000.
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