An impaired driver allegedly moving recklessly through Manchester Township was hospitalized after causing two accidents, the second of which led to his vehicle overturning and being crushed by a tree on Monday afternoon.

Manchester Police said that 31-year-old Christopher H. Cornell Jr. of Seaside Heights was driving in a 2019 Kia Optima which rear-ended a 2015 Volvo S60 at the Schoolhouse Road and Route 530 intersection, but, then fled the accident scene.

(Photo Courtesy: Manchester Township Police Department)
(Photo Courtesy: Manchester Township Police Department)
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It was about a mile south of that accident where police said that Cornell was unable to handle the curve on the road between Schoolhouse Road and Gardenia Drive, in the Whiting section of Manchester, and ended up veering off the road and striking a large pine tree and overturning his Kia Optima.

Cornell's vehicle sustained significant damage as the pine tree fell down onto his vehicle while he was trapped inside of the Kia Optima around 4:37 pm.

He was extricated from the vehicle as police and EMS responded to the scene and later brought via Medevac helicopter to Jersey Shore University Medical Center for treatment.

Jersey Shore University Medical Center
(Photo Courtesy: Eric Muench/Hackensack Meridian Health)
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Police said he was to be evaluated for non-life threatening injuries.

As they investigated the crashes, police said that they found Cornell Jr. in possession of CDS and that they believed that he was "under the influence of intoxicating liquor and/or drugs."

As for the first accident Cornell caused, police said that 47-year-old David J. Lobdell of Lanoka Harbor, "reported minor injuries on scene and refused any medical attention."

His Volvo S60 only sustained some minor damage, according to police.

(Manchester Police)
(Manchester Police)
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The investigation into the Monday afternoon car crashes is still under investigation but at this point with evidence in hand and what they know, Manchester Police said that "driver impairment and unsafe speed for road conditions appear to be the cause of the crash. Motor vehicle and criminal charges are pending at this time."

Here are other times when alcohol and/or drugs played a factor in crashes on Ocean County and New Jersey roadways.

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