A pet dog riding in a car that went out of control last Saturday – striking and killing a married couple as they walked from a religious service – may have caused the accident, which left four others injured, said Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan.
The driver of the Avalon lost control of the vehicle about 12:30 p.m. The driver was traveling west on Dunhams Corner Road near Hardenburg Lane, crashed into a utility pole and struck a group of people about a half mile from Young Israel, an Orthodox Jewish synagogue. The Avalon then struck a guardrail.
Two of the pedestrians were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. Sari Horowitz was pronounced dead at 12:49 p.m. and her husband Ari died at 12:58 p.m., Kaplan said.
“The investigation has further shown that a pet dog owned by the driver was in the Toyota at the time and may have been a contributing factor in the crash,” Kaplan said in a statement Thursday night. “The details cannot be released at this time since the investigation is continuing.”
Three other pedestrians and the driver were taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick.
The three pedestrians, a 27-year-old man, a 52-year-old man and his 50-year-old wife, remain at the hospital and are listed in stable condition, Kaplan said.
Anyone with information is asked to call Investigator O’Lone of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at 732-745-3315, or Officer Kniele of the East Brunswick Police Department at 732-390-6900.
Township Mayor David Stahl, who went to the scene, called the accident “a horrible tragedy.”