SOMERS POINT, N.J. - Graphic video of a fatal car crash has been circulating on the Internet, and the agency that operates the toll road where the crash occurred has launched an investigation to determine how the surveillance footage was leaked.
"We're not happy about it, that goes without saying," Joseph Orlando, spokesman for the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, said yesterday. The crash occurred May 10 at a toll plaza on the Garden State Parkway, which is operated by the Turnpike Authority.
Orlando said the agency has contacted Web sites including Youtube.com and LiveLeak.com to request that the video be removed. The Press of Atlantic City, which had posted a copy downloaded from the Internet on its Web site, said it removed the video voluntarily yesterday after learning of the Turnpike Authority's objections.
The video was still posted at the YouTube and LiveLeak Web sites as of late last night. Messages left last night by the Associated Press for Jaime Schopflin, a spokeswoman for San Bruno, Calif.-based YouTube, and at a media contact number in England for LiveLeak were not immediately returned.
The video depicts a car slamming the Garden State Parkway's Great Egg Harbor toll plaza, about 10 miles south of Atlantic City, at high speed and bursting into flames. Killed in the crash was Bernard King, 52, a casino dealer from Lower Township. State police said yesterday that they are still investigating the cause and are trying to determine if King's history of seizures was a factor.
An Atlantic City television station, WMGM-TV 40, also aired the video on a Thursday night newscast, with a warning that it could upset some viewers. The station's news director, Harvey Cox, said yesterday that the station had not received any complaints about the video.
Orlando said that the toll-plaza surveillance cameras are controlled by the parkway's operations and toll personnel but that officials have "no inkling" who had leaked the video. *