Health & Wellness

Chatham Bench Dedicated to Dr Ritter and Janis Joseph "Our Angels Here on Earth"

Dr. Al Ritter sits on the bench dedicated to him and his wife for helping Michael DiMaggio in a time of need
Dr. Al Ritter and his wife, Janis Joseph, on the bench dedicated to them on the corner of Main Street and Hillside Avenue in Chatham
Michael DiMaggio can now smile while he sits on the bench near where he was struck by a car two years ago
A pedestrian takes a break on the new bench dedicated to Dr. Al Ritter and his wife, Janis Joseph

CHATHAM, NJ - Two years ago this month, the life of an 11-year-old Chatham youngster and his family were turned upside down when an out-of-control vehicle struck Michael DiMaggio as he was walking home from school.

The scene of the accident is now marked with a pedestrian bench dedicated by the DiMaggio family to Dr. Al Ritter and his wife, Janis Joseph, who immediately came to his aid and stayed with him on his ride to the hospital. Michael DiMaggio has since recovered from his injuries.

"We have dedicated a bench to both of them on the corner of Main Street and Hillside Avenue, where the accident took place," Nicole DiMaggio, Michael's mother, said. "It is inscribed "Dr. Al Ritter & Janis Joseph, Our Angels Here on Earth" They are indeed angels to Michael and our entire family and it's our privilege to honor them in this small way.'

Sign Up for E-News

DiMaggio was struck by a car driven by a man experiencing a medical episode. The accident took place at the Exxon gas station, where DiMaggio was temporarily pinned under the car, suffering injuries to his arm and leg.

"Dr. Al Ritter, an Emergency Room doctor at Morristown Medical Center, and his wife, Janis Joseph, witnessed the accident and were immediately at Michael's side," Nicole DiMaggio said. "Dr. Ritter kept Michael calm and swiftly began administering emergency medical care. Michael told me that he was scared until Dr. Ritter appeared. He asked Dr. Ritter, "Will you stay with me?" And he did. He rode with Michael in the ambulance and saw to it that he received the best possible care when they arrived at the hospital. 

"In times of tragedy and trauma they say you should look for the angels, look for the helpers. Dr. Ritter is our angel and we wanted to honor and recognize him not only for what he's done for Michael, but for his lifetime of community service. He has dedicated his entire life to helping others, in Chatham and beyond. I've always believed that light far outweighs darkness in this world, and Dr. Ritter and Janis Joseph are the embodiment of that." 





TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events


Fri, April 27, 2:00 PM

Madison Area YMCA - Kroll Conference Room, Madison

Blood Drive

Giving Back Health & Wellness Other

Sun, May 20, 2:00 PM

Chatham Township Municipal Building, Chatham

A Tour of Chatham Township and Green Village

Arts & Entertainment

A Week at the Library of The Chathams Monday, April 9 – Sunday, April 15, 2018


The program will be held on Thursdays, May 3 through June 21 – 1:30 to 2:30 pm

Registration required

For anyone wanting to improve their English language skills, we are starting our first ever ESL program.  The program will be conducted by Language Education and Resource Network (LEARN) and volunteer tutors for 8 weeks.  Further sessions may be ...

A Huge Chatham Thank You to Len Resto, the Mayor, Council and DPW, especially Carlos and Stan

April 9, 2018

Dear Editor,


With spring holding off threats of snow, recent memories of the Nor’Easter that paralyzed the region are still engraved in my mind. In the height of the last big storm a 65 foot tall, 2½ foot wide white pine gave way to the heavy snow and landed on the house pulling our power line down, 1700 other Chathamites had lost power and trees were down ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 14

On this week’s AtlantiCast, an internationally recognized orthopedic oncologist takes a leadership role at Atlantic Health System, see the newest weapon in the fight against HPV-related cancers, Atlantic Health System leads the Castle Connolly / Inside Jersey Rankings, and much more!


F.M. Kirby Children’s Center of the Madison Area YMCA Students Sing, Dance and Laugh to the Music of Lovey Williams

April 17, 2018

Lovey Williams created joyful noise and music with the students of the F.M. Kirby Children’s Center of the Madison Area YMCA to kick off the Week of the Young Child that runs through Friday April 20. Students engaged in music by singing, dancing and playing instruments to their favorite songs at their annual Lovey Williams Concert. The Week of the Young Child celebrates early learning, ...