New Jersey

2 Coast Guard Cadets Killed in Head-on Crash on New Jersey Highway

Two Coast Guard cadets were killed and a third injured when two cars collided on a central New Jersey highway early Saturday, officials at the Coast Guard Academy said.

First Class Cadet Soso Makaridze and Third Class Cadet Bersarian Gorjoladze, both international cadets from the Republic of Georgia, were killed in the crash.

Academy spokesman David Santos told The Day of New London that cadets have been notified and counseling will be offered and memorial services planned when students return March 15 to the campus in New London, Connecticut.

New Jersey authorities said the deadly crash happened just after midnight when a car driven by 21-year-old Joel MacArthur, of Oley, Pennsylvania, collided with a vehicle on Route 31 in Hopewell Township, New Jersey.

Makaridze and Gorjoladze were passengers in MacArthur's car. Both of them died from their injuries. Three other people in the car, including a third cadet, were also hurt in the crash.

"The Academy community is grieving the loss of two of our cadets," said Academy Superintendent RADM Sandra Stosz. "We are deeply saddened by their passing and are full committed to helping the Corps of Cadets cope with this tragedy."

MacArthur and the two other survivors— 28-year-old Devon Tomb and 27-year-old Christine Thompson, both of Mount Olive — all suffered undisclosed injuries and were being treated at hospitals. Further details on their conditions were not disclosed.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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