NEWTON, NJ-- High Street/ Route 94 has re-opened between Park Place and Liberty Street after a pedestrian was hit by a car near the intersection of Church Street earlier today according to police.

Around 2:26 p.m. the Newton Police Department received multiple 9-1-1 calls reporting the accident..Officers  responding to the scene found Michael Bencivenga, a 70-year-old resident of Newton lying on the ground unresponsive, police said. 

Newton First Aid Squad, St. Clare’s Paramedic Unit and Atlantic Health Aeromedical all arrived to assist. Bencivenga was airlifted to Morristown Medical Center for treatment of his injuries, according to police, that included injuries to his head and the sides of his body.  He is currently listed in critical condition.

Sign Up for E-News

Fredon resident Howard Kern, 83, was the driver of the car that hit Bencivenga.  A portion of High Street was closed briefly during the on-scene investigation, but according to police is now re-opened. Charges have not yet been made as the investigation in ongoing, police report.

Responding Officers included Sergeant Michael Monaco, Det. Sergeant Steven VanNieuwland, Det. Thomas Tosti, Ptl. John Flanagan, Ptl. Jared Zappa and Ptl. Anthony Keiling. 

They were also assisted at the scene by members of the Newton Water & Sewer Department and Newton Fire Department, as well as Detectives from the Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office.

If anyone has any information regarding the incident, please contact the Newton Police at 973-383-2525 or submit tips anonymously via Text “274-637” with keyword “NEWTON” (