Cash spill on New Jersey highway leads to multiple crashes, chaos during morning commute

Thursday morning might mark the first time a New Jersey commuter preferred to be in a "cash lane." The East Rutherford Police Department said an armored truck spilled cash along the westbound lanes of Route 3 at about 8:30 a.m. — right during the peak of the morning rush hour. The incident took place near Metlife Stadium, right … Continue reading “Cash spill on New Jersey highway leads to multiple crashes, chaos during morning commute”

Thursday morning might mark the first time a New Jersey commuter preferred to be in a "cash lane."

The East Rutherford Police Department said an armored truck spilled cash along the westbound lanes of Route 3 at about 8:30 a.m. — right during the peak of the morning rush hour.

The incident took place near Metlife Stadium, right outside of New York City.

In videos posted to social media, motorists can be seen leaving their cars as they scramble to grab the cash from travel lanes.

"$5, 20, everything," someone could be heard saying in a video posted by Sabrina Quagliozzi. "Look at the accidents. Wow."

Police said "multiple" crashes were reported in the area due to people attempting to grab the cash. Travel also screeched to a halt as people got out of their cars.

VERMONT MAN PUTS UP GIANT MIDDLE FINGER AMID FEUD WITH TOWN OVER BUILDING PERMIT

Betsy Richards, a Montclair resident, was on a NJ Transit bus into New York City, and told NorthJersey.com she saw a man in a Brinks uniform was also running through traffic trying to collect the money.

"People were saying, 'he's definitely going to get fired,'" she told the news outlet. "It's Christmas for some and the loss of a job for another."

The incident remains under investigation, according to police. Anyone with information or videos of the incident is asked to contact authorities at 201-438-0165

Travis Fedschun is a reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @travfed

New Jersey man in love triangle admits to murdering romantic rival, prosecutor says

A New Jersey man stuck in a love triangle killed his 20-year-old romantic rival during a night of jealousy and rage that culminated in his pleading guilty to murder this week.

Alan McGinnis, 27, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the death of Cody MacPherson, revealing during a plea hearing Monday that he stabbed the victim in the chest and neck inside a Pemberton home and shoved his body in the trunk of his car on September 24, 2017, Ocean County prosecutor Bradley Billhimer told the Asbury Park Press on Tuesday. McGinnis faces 30 years in prison without the possibility of parole.

MacPherson's remains were found six months after the crime and — after a collaborative investigation between agencies within the state — McGinnis was arrested a month later. A grand jury indicted him in August.

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McGinnis' odd behavior after the fatal stabbing of Macpherson — including nonchalantly asking his cousin on the day of the murder for a tool to hide the body — was revealed by investigators.

“Hey, do you have a shovel? I have a body in the trunk," Michael Weatherstone, a supervising assistant Ocean County prosecutor, recalled McGinnis asking his relative during an April hearing, according to the newspaper. He later dumped MacPherson's body in a wooded area about a mile away in Jackson.

Weatherstone said MacPherson had been romantically involved with McGinnis’ ex-girlfriend and mother of his two children, Caitlyn Huertas, who was passed out on a couch after drinking on the night of the murder. Huertas and McGinnis also had an intimate relationship around that same time, a probable cause affidavit obtained by Patch in July states.

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“He was aware they had slept together in [a] motel the night of Sept. 22 to Sept. 23," Superior Court Judge Guy P. Ryan said during an earlier hearing.

According to the affidavit, McGinnis told Huertas' relatives that he killed MacPherson "because he was no good for [her] and believed that Cody was responsible for her being an unfit mother."

McGinnis will remain in Ocean County Jail while he waits to be officially sentenced.

Jennifer Earl is an SEO editor for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter @jenearlyspeakin.

New Jersey school teacher allegedly snorted morphine in front of kids, prosecutor says

A New Jersey elementary school teacher snorted morphine in front of students and another faculty member last week, prosecutors said.

Michael Palladino, a 43-year-old teacher at Eagleswood Township Elementary School, was charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance and official misconduct, NJ.com reported Monday, citing a Dec. 3 Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office complaint.

“Specifically, by ingesting a controlled dangerous substance through his nostril, at his desk in a classroom during school hours in the presence of another teacher and students,” the complaint said, referring to the official misconduct charge.

Palladino allegedly had three morphine tablets at his desk and a Bic pen he used as a straw, prosecutors said.

Eagleswood Township Elementary School has students from pre-kindergarten to sixth grade, but it wasn't listed which grade Palladino teaches.

It was not immediately clear what, if any, disciplinary actions had been taken against Palladino by the school.

Ryan Gaydos is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @RyanGaydos.

Man arrested in murder of off-duty firefighter, report says

A man was reportedly arrested Tuesday in the murder of an off-duty firefighter who was killed in an apparent road rage incident over the weekend in New York City.

The unidentified man was taken into custody at a South Amboy, N.J., motel by U.S. marshals and the NYPD, sources told NBC New York. The suspect was reportedly taken to the 62nd precinct along with his girlfriend. It wasn’t clear whether the girlfriend was facing charges.

NYPD did not confirm the arrest when reached by Fox News.

Faizal Coto, 33, was driving on the Belt Parkway at around 4:45 a.m. in Brooklyn on Sunday when he was caught on surveillance footage making an exit with another car following him, according to the New York Post. Law enforcement sources told the newspaper they thought the drivers may have hit each other or one cut the other off and they were going to handle it.

Police believe the altercation turned physical and Coto, who’s worked with the FDNY for about three years, was hit in the head with an unknown object, according to the New York Post. When emergency personnel arrived at the scene, they found Coto lying on the ground suffering severe head trauma.

He later died at a Coney Island hospital.

Police said they were looking for a gray or silver 2006 Infiniti G35 with a New York license plate. Authorities said the car was registered to a gang member, according to the New York Post.

Ryan Gaydos is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @RyanGaydos.

Wedding ring flushed down toilet found 9 years later in NJ town

A New Jersey woman has her wedding ring back, nine years after she accidentally flushed it down her toilet.

Paula Stanton was sure the diamond-encrusted gold ring was lost forever after she noticed it wasn't on her finger while she was cleaning her bathroom nearly a decade ago.

Luckily, a member of Somers Point's public works department remembered Stanton mentioning the ring about three years ago.

Last month, Ted Gogol was doing maintenance work near a manhole about 400 feet from Stanton's house. He tells the Press of Atlantic City he saw a shiny object sitting the mud.

It turned out to be Stanton’s ring, and after boiling it in peroxide and lemon juice, she is wearing it again.

New Jersey mansion murders spur calls for state to reinstate death penalty

The brutal killings of a New Jersey family at their burning mansion last month has spurred a group of lawmakers to call for the death penalty to be restored in the state.

Paul Caneiro, 51, was charged on Nov. 30 with killing his brother Keith Caneiro, 50; Keith's wife, Jennifer; and their two young children two days before they were to host Thanksgiving at their sleek $1.5 million mansion.

Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni has said the murder motives were “financial in nature," related to businesses the brothers were involved in, adding that the killings were one of the "most brutal" crimes he has seen.

The slayings of the Colts Neck family now have some lawmakers calling for action on legislation to reinstate the death penalty for certain crimes.

Paul Caneiro faces four counts of murder, along with arson and weapons charges, in the deaths of his brother Keith; Keith’s wife, Jennifer; their 11-year-old son, Jesse; and their 8-year-old daughter, Sophia. (Patti Sapone/NJ Advance Media via AP)

New Jersey banned capital punishment in 2007 after a one-year moratorium, becoming the first state to legislatively abolish the death penalty since 1965.  New Jersey's current governor, Democrat Phil Murphy, is opposed to the death penalty, representatives told the New Jersey Globe.

NEW JERSEY MAN KILLED BROTHER AND HIS FAMILY OVER FINANCIAL ISSUE INVOLVING JOINT BUSINESS, PROSECUTOR SAYS

But Republican State Sen. Steven Oroho said Wednesday the killings showed the need for New Jersey to reinstate the death penalty.

"The horrible truth is that unless killers know the death penalty is on the table, there are monsters out there that will kill," he said in a statement. "In order to keep the public safe, we must reinstate the death penalty."

Paul Caneiro appears in Monmouth County Superior Court for a detention hearing on Friday, Nov. 30, 2018 in Freehold, N.J. (Patti Sapone/NJ Advance Media via AP,)

Oroho co-sponsored a bill with fellow GOP Assemblymen Parker Space and Harold Wirths before the murders, but was unsuccessful with moving it forward. Wirths told the Asbury Park Press that while the bill may face trouble with lawmakers in Trenton, it may have support from voters if it were to ever go on a statewide ballot.

“I’d love for this to be a ballot or referendum question,” he told the paper. “I just can’t imagine the argument on the other end."

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The lawmaker, who was acting governor in 2006 and signed the original moratorium on capital punishment, told News 12 New Jersey that even when the state had the death penalty, it had not executed an inmate since 1963.

"When we had it, it was never utilized. Appeals went on forever and they (death row inmates) were in a nursing home or on a ventilator,” said State Sen. Dick Codey.

Keith Caneiro and Jennifer Caneiro, who were found dead at their New Jersey mansion after officials responded to a fire at the home last month. (Facebook)

Prosecutors have said that Caneiro is accused of setting fire to that residence as his wife and two adult daughters slept upstairs. All three safely escaped from the home.

During a court hearing on Nov. 30, Paul Caneiro pleaded not guilty to the murder charges and to arson counts stemming from both fires.

Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Travis Fedschun is a reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @travfed

Restaurant apologizes after manager denies employee time off to attend DUI crash victim’s funeral: reports

The owners of a New Jersey restaurant have apologized and offered a $1,000 donation after a manager threatened to fire an employee who sought time off to attend the funeral of a friend who was killed by an alleged drunken driver, according to reports.

The crash victim, Michael Sot, 20, was a designated driver who was taking some classmates home after a night out when his vehicle was hit around 2 a.m. Sunday, NJ.com reported. Seven others in the crash were injured, the report said.

Sot had suffered a traumatic brain injury, liver lacerations and a broken right femur, the Asbury Park Press reported. The former high school baseball star died Tuesday, the report said.

In a now-viral and profanity-laced text exchange with her manager, the restaurant employee asked if another worker could cover for her shift at the Ewing Township restaurant so she could attend Sot's funeral.

NEW JERSEY COLLEGE STUDENT DESIGNATED DRIVER KILLED IN CRASH WITH ALLEGED IMPAIRED DRIVER

"Someone close to me just passed away, and i'm trying to find a cover for my shifts so i can attend the funeral service rather than call out and leave you guys," the college student wrote.

But the manager, identified as "Katie" in the exchange, tells her: "Just don't come back to work."

"I like you but I'm sick of all staff not taking their job seriously and just f—ing expect me to cover all of your shifts," she wrote. "I have a business to run at the end of the day. And a family."

The college student insisted that she takes the job seriously and "Letting someone go because of a death is unethical."

GRAPHIC VIDEO: HAWAII BURGER PLACE CLOSES AFTER VIDEO APPEARS TO SHOW RAT COOKING

But the manager appeared unmoved, writing: "If you can't work and there is no one to cover the shift in order for the restaurant to operate I have to let you go. Sorry".

She added: "I don't feel bad for you so don't pull the college student unethical card."

The exchange was posted on a private Facebook group and quickly spread online, igniting angry responses from readers.

"I cannot support a business who treats their employees without compassion," wrote one Yelp reviewer cited in the report.

The restaurant's owners later issued a statement, insisting that the text exchange was read out of context and "was not related in any way to the mourning of Michael."

"We carelessly let the stresses of family and business replace the professionalism, respect and empathy that every employee and person deserves," the statement read.

The restaurant pledged $1,000 to a GoFundMe page for Sot's medical and burial expenses in addition to 10 percent of sales for the rest of the week, New Jersey 101.5 FM Radio reported.

The alleged drunken driver, identified as David Lamar, 22, of West Windsor, faces charges including second-degree vehicular manslaughter and seven counts of assault by auto, the Asbury Park Press reported.

David Lamar, 22, faces charges including second-degree vehicular manslaughter in connection with a DUI crash, authorities say. (Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office)

Police said Lamar was trying to pass other vehicles when the crash occurred, according to the report. He was being held in the Mercer County Jail, awaiting further court action.

Bradford Betz is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @bradford_betz.

Deadly plane crash into Florida autism center seen in shocking video

A small plane is seen rapidly skidding along the ground and slamming into the side of a Florida building on Saturday, immediately exploding into flames and sending those inside an autistic children's therapy center running for their lives, newly released video shows.

Eladio Marquez, a New Jersey-native who was piloting the Cessna 335, and his passenger, who was not immediately identified, were killed in the crash at the Executive Office Park in Fort Lauderdale, ABC reported.

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Battalion Chief Steven Gollan, a spokesman for the Fort Lauderdale Fire-Rescue Department, told WPLG-TV that eight teachers and five children were in the building when the plane crashed. He said one of the teachers suffered minor injuries as she ushered children from the building, but she was not hospitalized.

Marquez's widow, Belkis Marquez, told ABC she was heartbroken. She said her husband loved to fly his plane and she's not sure why the aircraft crashed. The Broward County Crime Lab is testing the remains of the two men discovered in the plane as they search for the cause of the calamity, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.

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The National Transportation Safety Board is also investigating the incident, and officials are looking into whether the aircraft had maintenance work recently, CBS Miami reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Kathleen Joyce is a breaking/trending news producer for FoxNews.com. You can follow her at @Kathleen_Joyce8 on Twitter.

New Jersey college student designated driver killed in crash with alleged impaired driver

A New Jersey college student acting as the designated driver for his friends died two days after an alleged impaired driver crashed into his vehicle head-on, school officials said Tuesday.

Michael Sot, a sophomore at The College of New Jersey, died from injuries sustained in the early Sunday morning crash near the university’s campus in Ewing, NJ.com reported.

“This news is heartbreaking. Michael was an outstanding student, and a trusted and caring friend with a bright future ahead of him," TCNJ President Kathryn A. Foster said in a statement to NJ.com. "The TCNJ community is keeping his family, friends and loved ones in its thoughts during this tremendously difficult time."

The 20-year-old was the designated driver chauffeuring his five friends home at about 2 a.m. Sunday when another vehicle, traveling in the opposite direction, crossed into his lane and crashed into his car, authorities said. The other driver, David Lamar V, 22, was impaired at the time of the crash, according to police.

Sot and seven other people, including the friends in his vehicle, were taken to the hospital with injuries. Sot suffered head trauma, a punctured lung, broken bones and a fracture to his vertebrae, according to a GoFundMe page set up to help pay for his medical costs. He died two days later.

“Michael who was being a responsible designated driver and making sure his friends got home safe was hit head-on and suffered significant injuries,” the GoFundMe page stated. “…He is a great son to his parents, an awesome brother to his three siblings and a great friend to many.”

Sot’s brother, Jon Sot, wrote a tribute to the 20-year-old on Twitter.

“Rest easy Mike. I will make you proud. I love you more than you’ll ever know. See you soon,” Jon Sot wrote.

Lamar faces charges of assault by auto and motor vehicle violations.

Katherine Lam is a breaking and trending news digital producer for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @bykatherinelam

24 Amazon employees hospitalized, one in critical condition, after exposure to bear repellent

At least one Amazon employee is in critical condition after being exposed to fumes from a can of bear repellent that was punctured at a New Jersey warehouse Wednesday morning, sending a total of 24 workers to local hospitals.

Officials say a total of 54 workers at the Robbinsville facility experienced difficulty breathing and burning in the throat and eyes after an automated machine pierced a 9 oz. can of bear repellent at approximately 8:45 a.m., NJ.com reported.

Robbinsville Fire Department members responded to the scene and said that emergency officials were investigating “fumes” as EMTs were “triaging multiple patients.”

Robbinsville Township spokesman John Nalbone told The Washington Post that the repellent contained concentrated amounts of capsaicin, a chile pepper extract from the pepper plant capsicum. He said the warehouse itself was not evacuated but that the area where the can was discharged was cleared.

It was unclear how many workers were exposed to the fumes but 24 employees were taken to five area hospitals and at least one was listed in critical condition.

Another 30 people were treated at the warehouse.

Rachael Lighty, a spokeswoman for Amazon, confirmed the accident Wednesday to The Washington Post, adding that safety “is our top priority.”

“Today at our Robbinsville fulfillment center, a damaged aerosol can dispensed strong fumes in a contained area of the facility,” she said in a statement. “The safety of our employees is our top priority, and as such, all employees in that area have been relocated to a safe place and employees experiencing symptoms are being treated on-site. As a precaution, some employees have been transported to local hospitals for evaluation and treatment. We appreciate the swift response of our local responders.”

The incident remains under investigation.

Paulina Dedaj is a writer/ reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter @PaulinaDedaj.