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UPDATE: Elmwood Park Passenger, 20, Critically Injured In Rainy Route 17 Crash

The car bounced off the divider and struck a retaining wall outside a private home on Route 17 in Waldwick.
The car bounced off the divider and struck a retaining wall outside a private home on Route 17 in Waldwick. Photo Credit: Boyd A. Loving

A 17-year-old Elmwood Park driver was behind the wheel when a sedan bounced off the divider and slammed into a retaining wall Saturday night on rain-slicked Route 17 in Waldwick, critically injuring a 20-year-old passenger, authorities said.

Waldwick firefighters extricated the front-seat passenger after what responders said was a partial ejection in the crash on the highway’s southbound side just after 7 p.m.

He was taken to Hackensack University Medical Center, along with the driver and 19-year-old rear seat passenger, neither of whom had serious injuries, Police Lt. Thomas Dowling said.

Witnesses told police the driver apparently lost control of the four-door sedan, which hit the divider and then slammed into the retaining wall outside a private home at the corner of Summit Avenue, Dowling said.

No other vehicles apparently were involved, the lieutenant said.

Rigs from the Waldwick Volunteer Ambulance Corps, The Valley Hospital and HUMC transported the injured, he said. Waldwick police also responded, along with borough firefighters.

A tow truck removed the heavily damaged sedan from the scene.

Police were investigating to determine whether improper speed for the roadway conditions was a factor, Dowling said.

Boyd A. Loving took the photo and contributed to this account.

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