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One Dead, Two Critical After BMW Overturns On PIP In Englewood Cliffs

It took emergency responders more than an hour and 40 minutes to extricate the driver, whose legs were entangled in the dashboard, PIP police said.
It took emergency responders more than an hour and 40 minutes to extricate the driver, whose legs were entangled in the dashboard, PIP police said. Photo Credit: COURTESY: Palisades Interstate Parkway PD

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. -- One occupant was killed and the driver and another passenger left in critical condition after a BMW overturned overnight on the northbound Palisades Interstate Parkway in Englewood Cliffs, authorities said.

It took emergency responders more than an hour and 40 minutes to remove the injured driver after police found the car on the other side of the guardrail 1,000 feet north of the Sunoco station just after 2 a.m. Saturday, PIP Police Chief Michael Coppola said Saturday afternoon.

Two front-seat occupants were inside, while a rear-seat passenger was found outside the 1988 sedan incoherent and walking around, he said.

Officers immediately summoned Englewood Cliffs firefighters, Fort Lee EMS, Englewood Hospital BLS and paramedics.

Front-seat passenger Michael A. Dunstan III, 23, of Brooklyn was dead, while driver Asani Phoenix, 27, of Manhattan had his legs entangled under the dashboard, Coppola said.

The driver and rear-seat passenger were taken to Hackensack University Medical Center in critical condition, the chief said.

According to Coppola: "The BMW struck the left side rumble strip and then the operator appears to have been unable to regain control of the car before it entered the right shoulder.

"Once on the right shoulder, the vehicle's driver side struck a guardrail and tree causing the BMW to overturn striking another tree via the roof. The vehicle then came to an inverted rest."

Identities were being withheld pending notifications. The investigation was continuing, Coppola said.

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