WESTFIELD, NJ — The driver of the minivan that hit a car so hard at the intersection of Rahway Avenue and Shackamaxon Drive two weeks ago that the car flipped over and smashed into a boulder on the side of the road told cops that he was having an asthma attack at the time of the crash, according to the police report.

The 54-year-old man from Fords, NJ, told police he did not see the STOP sign because he was having an asthma attack with chest pains and was reaching for his inhaler, according to the police report. He was given summonses for careless driving and disregard of a STOP sign. Both he and the driver of the car, a Westfield woman, were transported to the hospital, according to witnesses.

The crash occurred at about 8 a.m. on Monday, April 17 — a day that Westfield schoolchildren happened to have off.

Sign Up for E-News

“We have to be thankful this was not a school day,” David Contract, a candidate for town council whose home is on the corner of that intersection, said at the scene. He said that there are several accidents at that spot each year.

“We’ve lived here 12 and a half years. This is the worst I’ve ever seen,” Contract said.