5 teens thrown from vehicle in AC Expressway accident

WINSLOW TWP. Five of seven Philadelphia teens who were inside a minivan traveling westbound on the Atlantic City Expressway in Winslow Township, Camden County, on Monday morning, were ejected when the driver fell asleep and hit a row of trees at mile post 37.7, state police said.

The seven teens, all male, were friends and were returning home after visiting the Wildwoods, state police said. One is 16 while the others are 17. None was wearing a seat belt, police said.

The seven were listed in stable condition at Cooper University Hospital, in Camden, police said. The two who were not thrown from the vehicle were flown by helicopter, while the rest went by ambulance. The Chevrolet Venture they were in was severely damaged, police said.

One of the westbound lanes on the expressway remained closed for about two and a half hours after the 8:31 a.m. accident so that police could investigate the crash. On the last day of the three-day Memorial Day weekend, the closure created delays along a roadway that is a major artery to and from the shore. All lanes were reopened by 11 a.m., police said.

- Jacqueline L. Urgo and Jan Hefler