Head-On Collision Kills NJ Sisters

Police believe one sister lost control of her car, crossed the center line and collided with a minivan

By Dan Stamm, Monique Braxton and David Chang
|  Wednesday, Oct 10, 2012  |  Updated 10:20 PM EDT
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Police continue to investigate the cause of a car accident that killed two teenage sisters in Jackson Township, NJ.

NBC10Philadelphia.com - Monique Braxton

Police continue to investigate the cause of a car accident that killed two teenage sisters in Jackson Township, NJ.

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Police are investigating whether speed and a wet road contributed to a head-on crash that claimed the lives of two teenage sisters in Jackson Township on Tuesday.

Police say Jamie Nicholson, 17, was driving a 1987 Mercedes north on South Chapel Road when she somehow lost control of the vehicle, colliding head-on with a Mazda minivan. Nicholson's 15-year-old sister Francesca was also inside the car.
 
Both Nicholson and her sister, who would have turned 16 on Thursday, died in the crash. The 47-year-old driver of the minivan sustained minor injuries.

Jamie was a senior at Marine Academy of Technology and Environmental Science (MATES) in Lacey Township while Francesca was a junior at Jackson Memorial High School, according to county prosecutors.

Investigators told NBC10 Wednesday afternoon that the cause of the crash remained unknown.

"It sounded something like an explosion," said John Luhrs, who witnessed the crash. "They looked pretty mangled. One was off to the side and the other one was more straight." 

"As a parent I could not imagine going through that and what parents who have to go through that suffer," said Thomas Gialenella, the Jackson school superintendent.

Gialenella tells NBC10 both girls were active in the Jackson Memorial High School marching band.

"When the students came in it was a very somber mood but we had professionals go into different places where students who know the students get together," said Gialenella.

The superintendent also says he requested the district's grief counselors.

"We brought a crisis team in of about 20 counselors and social workers," said Gialenella.

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