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Lakewood's first responders who were at the scene of a horrific crash overnight Saturday morning will participate in a Critical Incident Stress Debriefing session which will be held tonight, FAA News has learned.

The debriefing session is being coordinated by Lakewood OEM.

A Critical Incident Stress Debriefing is a structured group story-telling process combined with practical information aimed at putting an abnormal event into perspective. It offers clarity to the first responders about the critical incident they have experienced, normalizes their reactions to a critical incident and assists them to establish a process for recovery.

On Saturday, October 7, 2023, at approximately 2:20 a.m., Officers from the Lakewood Township Police Department were summoned to the area of New Hampshire Avenue and Cedar Bridge Avenue for a report of a serious motor vehicle crash.

The crash resulted in 3 fatalities and 2 critical injuries.

An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit-Vehicular Homicide Squad and Lakewood Township Police Department determined that a 2009 Honda Accord being operated by Jayla Ortiz, and containing passengers Mylani Theibault, 18, Lakewood, seated in the front passenger seat, Alexis Holloway, 23, of Berkeley Township, Ceasia Jefferson, 24, of Neptune, and a 17 year-old male of Lanoka Harbor, all seated in the rear passenger seat, was traveling eastbound on Cedar Bridge Avenue. Ms. Ortiz failed to stop at a red traffic signal and entered the intersection – striking a 2008 Dodge Truck. The impact caused the Dodge Truck to roll over and split in two. The Honda Accord continued off the roadway and struck a metal traffic signal pole; upon contact with the pole, the Accord likewise broke into two parts.

“As a result of the crash, Mathew Draheim, 56, of Lakewood, who was the operator of the Dodge Truck, was transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center (JSUMC) in Neptune to be treated for minor injuries. Jayla Ortiz and Ceasia Jefferson were pronounced deceased at the scene. Mylani Theibault, Alexis Holloway, and the 17 year-old male, were transported to JSUMC for treatment. At the hospital, the 17 year-old male succumbed to his injuries. Mylani Theibault and Alexis Holloway remain hospitalized; Mylani Theibault is currently listed in stable condition. Alexis Holloway is currently listed in critical condition,” Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer stated.

(Following issuance of this statement, one party was just released from the hospital with an extremely long road to recovery.)

“This is every parent’s worst nightmare. Our thoughts and prayers are with these young men and women, their families and their friends,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated.

The crash remains under investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit-Vehicular Homicide Squad and Lakewood Township Police Department.

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