Township teen killed in Ringwood crash


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***UPDATED 10 a.m. THURSDAY***

WEST MILFORD – A 17-year-old township male was one of two teenagers killed Wednesday afternoon in a car crash in Ringwood, officials said.

According to the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, the 17-year-old from West Milford was a passenger in a 1999 Toyota Corolla driven by Victor Weinpel, 19, of Wanaque.

Weinpel lost control of the car on the Greenwood Lake Turnpike and struck a guardrail north of Skyline Drive in the Borough of Ringwood around 3:15 p.m., police said.

That collision propelled the Corolla into the path of a 2014 Chevrolet E250 van operated by Paul Barker, 64, of Ringwood, hitting the van head-on in the opposite lane, police said.

Both Weinpel and the unidentified West Milford teenager were pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

Emergency crews took Barker to St. Joseph’s University Hospital for treatment of minor injuries, police said.

The crash closed the roadway for several hours as police investigated the scene.

Both teens were former students of Lakeland Regional High School in Wanaque, officials said.

Lakeland Superintendent Hugh Beattie said that Weinpel graduated in 2017 and was a member of the track team while the 17-year-old attended the school during his freshman year before moving with his family to West Milford.

“The Lakeland Regional High School community is deeply saddened over the passing of two former students,” Beattie said. “Our Grief Counseling Team has set up opportunities for students and faculty members who choose to take advantage of these services. The thoughts of the entire Lakeland Lancer community are with the families at the very difficult time.”

West Milford Schools Superintendent Dr. Alex Anemone said that the district would also offer grief counseling to students because the 17-year-old has younger siblings attending district schools.

Officials, however, would not confirm the identity of the minor.

Police said the investigation remains active and ongoing, and more information will be released once it becomes available.

The Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office asks anyone with additional information about this incident to contact its tips line at 1-877-370-PCPO or tips@passaiccountynj.org or contact the Ringwood Borough Police Department Traffic Division at (973) 962-7017.



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