Police & Fire

West Orange Residents Identified as Victims in Fiery Crash on I-280

Betty Afotey, 49, was identified as the driver of the vehicle in a fiery crash on I-280 East on Aug. 27. Credits: NJDMV
Ryan Yoskowitz, 27, formerly of Livingston, was a victim in the crash. Credits: NJDMV
Barbara Yoskowitz, 80, was a victim in the crash. Credits: NJDMV

EAST ORANGE, NJ - Three West Orange residents have been identified as the victims in the fiery car crash on Eastbound I-280 in East Orange on August 27 at approximately 10:30 am. 

Barbara Yoskowitz, 80; her grandson Ryan, 27; and Ms. Yoskowitz's aide, Betty Afotey, 59, who resided on Cummings Circle in the Woodlands Complex on Pleasant Valley Way, were killed when a dump truck driven by Michael Devito of Direct Waste Services of Belleville, NJ, failed to slow down and crashed into the Honda Accord driven by Afotey.

The crash created a chain reaction involving five other vehicles and the Accord subsequently burst into flames, killing all three. There were no other fatalities reported though the occupants of the other vehicles, including Devito and seven others, were treated for minor injuries at area hospitals and released.

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The driver of one of the involved vehicles was traveling with two dogs, Zoey and Rosie, who fled the scene after the accident. Both dogs have been reunited with their owner and are in good condition.

Ryan Yoskowitz, formerly of Livingston, had only moved in with his grandmother at the Cummings Circle address about two months ago, according to neighbors. Ms. Afotey, a long-time aide to Mrs. Yoskowitz, also lived at Cummings Circle, which is located in the Woodlands Complex off Pleasant Valley Way.

Preliminary reports indicate that Devito may have lost control of his vehicle. The accident is still under investigation by the New Jersey State Troopers.

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