The Verona Police Department says that the driver of the car that crashed into First Care Medical Group this morning has been evaluated at Saint Joseph’s University Medical Center and has “no apparent injuries.” The VPD sent a car to Saint Joseph’s to bring the driver home to West Orange.
According to the VPD, just before 7 a.m. a black Acura ILX driven by a Verona resident turned left from Claremont Avenue onto Pompton Avenue. Left-hand turns are prohibited at that location from 7 a.m.to 9 p.m. from Monday to Saturday. The Acura collided with the Toyota, which was headed north on Pompton towards Cedar Grove. The Toyota then veered into the First Care Building, which is on the west side of the roadway at 50 Pompton Avenue.
After the crash, the driver of the Toyota was able to get out of the car with the assistance of bystanders. The driver of the Acura remained on scene and was issued multiple summonses by the VPD. The Verona Rescue Squad evaluated both drivers, and the Verona Fire Department also responded to the scene. The driver of the Acura refused additional medical attention and drove the vehicle home, followed by the VPD.
The Toyota was removed from the First Care building just before noon. The car had entered the building through an exam room, which was unoccupied at the time; First Care opens to patients at 8 a.m. Two First Care employees were by the reception desk in the center of the building, but they were not injured.
Verona’s building inspector and an engineer retained by Dr. George Ambrosio, the owner of the building, said that the building is safe to occupy. Dr. Ambrosio has begun to work on repairs and hopes to reopen the building to patients on Friday.
The Pompton/Claremont intersection has been the scene of several accidents over the years. In 2016, a driver crashed into the building at 25 Pompton and had to be airlifted to St. Joseph’s with serious injuries. Because the area is where state and county roads converge, Verona officials have approached both about installing a traffic light at the intersection, to no avail. Verona officials also said today that the owner of the former Chase branch at 30 Pompton Avenue has offered to pay for a traffic light because it would facilitate the rental of that building to a new tenant.