July 28, 2014, 1:58 PM Last updated: Tuesday, July 29, 2014, 12:30 AM
By TARIQ ZEHAWI and STEFANIE DAZIO
tariq zehawi/staff photographer
Westwood Police Officer Niko Pieratos talks with Jack "Poppi T Clown" Erbstein at the site of a one-car accident on Berkeley Avenue on Monday. Erbstein, of Mahwah, told police he witnessed the crash, which involved another clown.
WESTWOOD — A woman who had just performed a clown show at an elementary school crashed a Toyota sedan into a utility pole on Berkeley Avenue just before noon Monday, police and a witness said.
Authorities do not know what caused the crash, Westwood police Sgt. Matthew McClutchy said. But Jack "Poppi T Clown" Erbstein of Mahwah, who witnessed the accident, said the driver was reaching for a GPS unit that fell off the windshield when she veered off the road and hit the pole.
The witness and the driver are part of Call Us Clowns, a not-for-profit organization that puts on clown shows at schools and hospitals, he said.
Erbstein said that there were about 10 clowns at the day camp at Berkeley Avenue Elementary School. The crash occurred after the show, as the clowns drove away in their respective cars.
The incident is under investigation, McClutchy said.
The driver, whose name police declined to release, is a 68-year-old woman from Fair Lawn, according to Westwood police Chief Frank Regino.
It appears she was distracted as she was reaching for something and veered off the road, he said.
Some of her clown colleagues at the scene said they had persuaded her to go to the hospital as a precaution after she initially refused.
She was transported to Hackensack University Medical Center at Pascack Valley with minor injuries, Regino said. The car suffered substantial damage.