beachwood

BERKELEY — The 75-year-old injured owner of Der Wunder Wiener hot dog stand has promised to return to the shopping center parking lot where his business once stood.

Nearly two weeks after an SUV smashed into the small trailer in the parking lot of the former Beachwood Shopping Center — with owner Gerry LaCrosse inside — Lacross called into Bob Levy's Topic A talk show on WOBM on Sunday morning.

The Beachwood councilman told host Jeremy Grunin that when the SUV, driven by Mark Poplawski of Forked RIver, crashed into his on June 11 it was "the loudest noise" he had ever heard.

LaCrosse, who was hospitalized for several days, thanked the paramedics and first-responders who recovered him quickly from the what was left of the trailer. He said he was appreciative of support from friends and family.

LaCrosse also said he wants to rebuild his stand, but will try to place it farther away from Route 9. The stand previously was right along the two lane highway.

According to a GoFundMe page created by his niece Charissa Fromm and son Jerry LaCrosse, he turned 75 on Saturday.

According to a police report obtained by New Jersey 101.5, Poplawski told the responding Berkeley officer, Patrolman Michael Bulwinski, that "he was tired and may have fallen asleep behind the wheel."

Poplawski later told Bulwinski that he was returning from dropping his son at school in Toms River and didn't remember falling asleep or the crash.

Berkeley police said no court date has yet been set for Poplawski.