UPDATE: Four Paterson residents and a 4-year-old Pennsylvania boy were killed on Route 3 in Rutherford late Sunday when their SUV slammed into the back of a front-end loader, authorities said Monday.
The dead were identified as:
- Michelle Toledo, 38;
- Irvina Gee, 20;
- Sheckylle Chain, 23;
- Ayana Navas, 16;
- Noah Alexander Dejesus, 4, of Allentown, PA.
The boy's parents weren't in the vehicle, sources told Daily Voice.
The 39-year-old front-loader operator was returning to a construction site on Route 3 after dropping off a load at a nearby construction yard when the vehicle entered westbound Route 3 from the southbound Route 17 service road and was struck by a 2016 Nissan Rogue, Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella said.
"The operator immediately pulled to the side of the road and called 911," Musella said.
The boy was in a booster seat and the adults were all wearing seatbelts, responders told Daily Voice.
Four of the occupants were pronounced dead at the scene.
The boy "was briefly resuscitated at the scene but later succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at Hackensack University Medical Center," Musella said.
Musella's Fatal Accident Investigations Unit investigated with Rutherford police. Assisting were, among others, New Jersey State Police and the Bergen County Sheriff's Bureau of Criminal Identification, which collected evidence.
Several EMS units also responded, along with the Bergen County Medical Examiner's Office and the state Department of Transportation.
The particular construction project under way in both directions on Route 3 between Park Avenue and Ridge Road in Rutherford was expected to keep the left lane closed at least until May 31.
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