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Police & Fire

Gruesome Injuries Suffered By Suffern Man Knocked Over Route 17 Median

A second vehicle was involved in the chain-reaction pedestrian crash on Route 17 in Ramsey.
A second vehicle was involved in the chain-reaction pedestrian crash on Route 17 in Ramsey. Photo Credit: Boyd A. Loving

A man from Rockland County who was struck trying to cross a stretch of Route 17 suffered a gruesome fate, responders revealed.

Both his lower left leg and part of his right foot were amputated after he was knocked over the highway divider, they said.

The 66-year-old Suffern resident was taken to Hackensack University Medical Center after the tragic mishap shortly before 2 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 28, Ramsey Police Chief Brian M. Lyman said.

"The initial investigation reveals the pedestrian was attempting to cross the highway and was on, or near, the center divider when he was struck by a 4-door Acura traveling north on Route 17," Lyman said on Thursday.

"Officers located [the victim] against the center median on the southbound side of the roadway," the chief said.

"A second vehicle [a Lexis SUV] also sustained damage as part of the chain of events," he said.

"At this time no charges have been filed against any involved drivers," Lyman added.

Fearing for the victim's life, responders initially called for a medical chopper. But a Ramsey Ambulance Corps driver quickly applied two tourniquets and he was taken to the hospital by ambulance, they said.

Route 17 was closed in both directions as Ramsey police investigated, assisted by the Bergen County Prosecutor's Fatal Accident Investigations Unit and the Bergen County Sheriff's Bureau of Criminal Identification, which collected evidence.

Upper Saddle River police, a New Jersey Department of Transporation response unit and members of Ramsey Rescue all assisted at the scene, the chief said. A New Jersey State Police trooper who was in the area also responded.

There have been an alarming number of people struck -- and mostly killed – in that area along Route 17, which has several hotels on both sides of the highway. The most recent before Wednesday was just this past Christmas Eve.

Authorities and responders have said over the years they can’t fathom why people would take such a risk on such a treacherous stretch of road.

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