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UPDATE: Driver Suspected of Causing Fatal Crash Over Alcohol Limit

Accidents | Fri, 04/25/2014 - 11:09 am | Updated 31 weeks 3 days ago | Read 39495 | Commented 5 | Emailed 14

By Press Release

Reader submitted photo.

RIO GRANDE - The driver suspected of being at fault for the head on collision on Route 47 April 24, which took two lives and injured two others, has been found to have had a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit.

The toxicology report on Stephen Carsten, 29, of Millville, showed a blood alcohol level of .223, according to Middle Township Police Captain John Edwards. In New Jersey, the legal limit is .08.

Prior to the crash, witnesses observed Carsten's vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed, and passing on double yellow lines. As the vehicle was approaching a bend in the road, it sideswiped a red Ford Taurus driven by James McDonnell, 66, of North Cape May. The Chevy Malibu continued in the opposite lane of travel striking a Silver Infiniti head on, driven by Jeffrey Natale, 19, of Del Haven.

The crash, which occurred just south of the Wildwood Water Works bend, took the lives of Carsten and Natale.

Two were injured and were airlifted to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center City Division, including McDonnell who was driving a third vehicle and a 17-year-old passenger who was in Natale's vehicle.

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Previous Coverage:

The Middle Township Police Department responded to a serious motor vehicle crash on SH 47, just south of the Wildwood Water Works bend April 24 at 10:04 p.m.

A white Chevy Malibu driven by Stephen Carsten, 29, of Millville, NJ, was traveling north on SH 47. Witnesses observed the vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed, and passing on double yellow lines. As the vehicle was approaching a bend in the road, it sideswiped a red Ford Taurus driven by James McDonnell, 66, of North Cape May. The Chevy Malibu continued in the opposite lane of travel striking a Silver Infiniti head on. The Infiniti was driven by Jeffrey Natale, 19, of Del Haven, with a 17-year-old front seat passenger.

As a result of the crash, Jeffrey Natale and Stephen Carsten were killed on impact. James McDonnell and the 17-year-old passenger were airlifted to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center City Division.

Green Creek Fire Company with the assistance of Rio Grande Fire Company responded to the scene, along with Medics from AtlantiCare, Rio Grande Rescue, and Middle Township Rescue.

The crash is still under investigation by the Middle Township Fatal Crash team, Major Crime Unit, and the Cape May County Prosecutor's Office.

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Comments (5)

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Wed, 09/10/2014 - 9:01am - Posted by: EdieF

I t continues to amaze me, how many articles the Herald releases are so biased. When it is a corrections officer who causes a fatal accident, the head line reads, 'over alcohol limit". The guy CARSTEN was DRUNK, the accident did not cause the death of Carsten and Natale, CARSTEN caused the 19 year olds death. It was not the result of the crash, it was the result of someone driving with his PBA card in hand.

Wed, 04/30/2014 - 4:51pm - Posted by: Kristen

I pray for all of them. I'm so sorry to the family that lost Jeffery at age 19, but I am also sorry for the family that lost Stephen at age 29. FRIENDS DON'T LET FRIENDS DRIVE DRUNK! WHO LET THAT GUY LEAVE THAT WAY? You cannot expect a drunk to make a responsible choice. So sad for everyone!

Fri, 04/25/2014 - 8:00pm - Posted by: athebeach

Speed kills.

Fri, 04/25/2014 - 5:16pm - Posted by: FordPSD

I feel so sorry for the parents who have to bury their 19 year old son. How empty and hurt they must feel. I pray that his 17 year old passenger pulls through. This is just so terrible.

Sun, 04/27/2014 - 9:54pm - Posted by: BPA

sad

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