Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office announces preliminary Lacey Township pedestrian fatal accident investigation findings in the death of Neil Vandeputt, 25, of Toms River, NJ.

On Sunday, July 5th, 2015, at approximately 3:25 am, a Lacey PD patrol unit responding to a call struck a pedestrian in the area of Lacey Road and Deerhead Lake Road and subsequently went off the roadway striking a utility pole after making an evasive maneuver in an effort to avoid striking the pedestrian.

Due to the Lacey officer being involved in the accident, the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Major Crimes/Fatal Accident Investigation Unit was joined by Toms River Police Department and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department CSI in investigating the circumstances surrounding the accident.

Their preliminary investigation found Lacey Patrol Officer Andrew Slota was traveling East on Lacey Road responding to a call when his patrol vehicle struck Neil Vandeputt. Witness information indicates Mr. Vandeputt was crossing against the traffic signal in a northerly direction from the south side of Lacey Road at the Deerhead Lake Road intersection. Officer Slota initially took evasive action to avoid striking the pedestrian, however, Vandeputte was struck by the front passenger side of the patrol vehicle. After impact Slota’s patrol vehicle struck a utility pole on the westbound side of the road coming to final rest in the bank parking lot adjacent to the roadway.

Vandeputt was pronounced at the scene by Dr. Konomos from Newark Beth Israel at 3:47 am. Officer Slota was taken to Community Medical Center where he was treated for non life threatening injuries. The investigation is ongoing.

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