Prosecutors: Driver in Lakewood crash was shot

A minivan driver who died early Saturday after hitting a tree in Lakewood, N.J. suffered a gunshot wound, according to the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.

Officials said the man was behind the wheel of a silver 2002 Chrysler Town and Country shortly after midnight, when he smashed head-on into the tree on the 1200 block of East County Line Road.

Lakewood police officers, who received a 911 call alerting them to the crash, found the victim unconscious.

He was rushed into surgery at the Jersey Shore Medical Center, where doctors confirmed he had been shot, a prosecutor’s office spokesman said.

The victim, described only as an Hispanic male of about 50 years of age, died shortly after 2:30 a.m.

It was not immediately clear exactly when or where he was shot, or what role the injury played in his death.

Investigators said the man’s identity had not yet been confirmed Saturday afternoon and his next of kin had not been notified because the Maryland driver’s license found in his possession was discovered to be a fake.

Police were not immediately able to locate the minivan's registered owner, which officials said further impeded the investigation. There was no word on a possible motive for the crime. No suspects had been identified.

Anyone with information about the shooting, or with knowledge of the victim’s identity, is asked to call the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office at 732-929-2027, or the Lakewood Police Department at 732-363-0200.

Contact Alex Wigglesworth at 215-854-2305 or Follow @phila_lex on Twitter.

Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443; Follow @phillynews on Twitter.