• Gabriel Donio

Reagan Rock hit by pole

Marks spot of Reagan’s ‘Hammonton Address’


A pole landed on the Reagan Rock on the morning of March 11. The rock commemorates President Ronald Reagan’s historic visit to Hammonton in September 1984. (THG/Gabe Donio. To purchase photos in The Gazette, call (609) 704-1940.)

HAMMONTON—The Reagan Rock, a landmark denoting the spot where President Ronald Reagan gave his “Hammonton Address” on September 19, 1984, was struck by a light standard after it was hit by a tractor-trailer, Hammonton Police Chief Kevin Friel said.


“Vehicle one was traveling westbound on county route 542 [Central Avenue/Ronald Reagan Drive]. Vehicle number one then made a right turn onto Bellevue Avenue [Route 54], and its trailer then collided into the light standard with the passenger side of the trailer,” Friel said.


Friel said the truck, a 2016 Kenworth, was operated by Shawanna Bartley, 32, of Moncks, S.C., Friel said.


“After being struck, the light standard fell upon Reagan Rock, located at the corner of the intersection,” Friel said.


Atlantic City Electric responded to de-energize the pole, and the town’s equipment—the banner and speakers—that were placed upon the pole were removed by the Department of Public Works and will be placed on the new pole, which is set to be reinstalled in the near future, Friel said.


Friel said Bartley was issued a citation for careless driving.


Officer Harry Valentin is the investigating officer for the crash, Friel said.


In other police news, a man was charged with driving while under the influence at 3:28 a.m. on March 12 at the location of the White Horse Pike and Mullica Twp.’s border, Friel said.


Officer Travis Hoffman observed a vehicle near the intersection of Lakeview Drive and the White Horse Pike, Friel said.


Friel said the vehicle was traveling east toward Mullica Twp. with the vehicle failing to maintain the lane of travel multiple times.


Hoffman initiated a motor vehicle stop at Seventh Street and the White Horse Pike and the vehicle continued traveling east well into Mullica Twp., Friel said.


The driver, identified as Akee Cradle, 33, of Millville, was observed to have watery and bloodshot eyes and had an odor of alcoholic beverage emitting from his person, Friel said.


He was placed under arrest for operating while under the influence, transported to police headquarters for processing and was charged with the following motor vehicle violations: driving while under the influence, careless driving, reckless driving, unregistered vehicle, failing to maintain lane, failure to possess his registration, failure to possess his insurance card, obstructed view, failure to give proper signal and failure to keep right, Friel said.


Cradle was released as per John’s Law pending a court appearance in Hammonton Joint Municipal Court, Friel said.


Hoffman was the investigating and arresting officer, Friel said.


This report is comprised of arrests and investigations made by the men and women of local enforcement. All suspects and arrested are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.