UPDATE: Bergen County authorities confirmed last night that the 11-month-old son of a Carlstadt woman who was killed in a horrific early-morning car crash on Route 17 in Lodi had been left home alone.
CLIFFVIEW PILOT originally reported that the child was found alone in a bedroom after Bergen County police gained entry to the home nearly five hours after the crash. Authorities changed that account during the day, then later reverted to the original report.
Two BCPD officers were let in by the boy’s grandfather after they went to the elderly man’s house to notify him of 31-year-old Manjit Kaur’s death. The crash also seriously injured the boy’s father, Pradeep Singh, 29.
Police at first feared the infant might have been thrown from the demolished 1999 Honda Accord — which was snapped in two when it slammed into a pole holding an exit sign just after 6:15 a.m. — after they found the child’s car restraints in the back seat.
As a result, they frantically searched the area around the crash scene.
It wasn’t until nearly five hours later that they were able to confirm the boy’s whereabouts.
At 10:48 a.m., “Bergen County Police Detectives Christopher Weston and David Saldana responded to the address of the victim’s next of kin to make notification of death,” Lt. James Giblin said.
The grandfather, who told them that Kaur was the boy’s “primary care provider,” then let them into her apartment, he said.
“Once inside they discovered the child in the bedroom of the residence,” Giblin said. “[T]he child appeared to be unharmed and in good health but was taken to HUMC for evaluation.”
By amazing chance, the first person on the scene of the morning crash was BCPD Sgt. Robert Carney, who was on his way to work. He immediately began rendering first aid, Giblin said.
Bergen County PD Officers Peter Flannery and Daniel Sansevere were there within moments and, using breaching tools from the car, helped extricate Singh.
Their quickness enabled emergency medical workers to rush Singh to Hackensack University Medical Center, where he was listed in serious but stable condition last night.
The boy, meanwhile, was temporarily taken into custody by the state’s Department of Children and Families for what was an expected placement with Kaur’s family, authorities confirmed late yesterday.
“The cause of the crash is currently under investigation and does not appear to be alcohol-related,” Giblin said.
PHOTO: Courtesy Nj.com