Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Blairstown Man Among Four Dead in Andover Crash

A Blairstown man was among four people killed in a head-on collision in Andover Township May 29th.

Andover police said a 2021 Jeep Rubicon driven by Bruce Cseh, 22, of Blairstown, was traveling westbound on Newton-Sparta Road, east of Limecrest Road near the Sparta Township line, when he crossed over the double yellow lines and into the eastbound lane.

Cseh’s vehicle struck a 2001 Ford Ranger pickup truck head-on. As a result of the collision, the Ford Ranger was engulfed in flames, trapping three people, including Andrew Benavente, 36, of Newton; and his two children, Andrew Benavente, Jr., 13; and Madelyn Benavente, 5.

Andover police said first responders utilized fire extinguishers and attempted life saving
measures, but the flames proved to be too intense.

The Andover Township/Andover Boro Fire Department and Sparta Fire Department extinguished the fire, but all three victims were pronounced dead at the scene.

Cseh, the driver of the Jeep Rubicon, was also trapped in his vehicle and was extracted with the Jaws of Life. He was flown to Morristown Medical Center where he was later pronounced dead as a result of his injuries.

Newton-Sparta Road was closed for more than five hours for the investigation, which is
continuing.

Joe Phalon
Joe Phalon, Contributing Writer
Contributing Writer

Joe was lured out of retirement by the opportunity to be a part of the Ridge View Echo. During a decades-long career in publishing and journalism, he has covered government on many levels from local school boards to the United States Supreme Court.

Along the way, Joe has worked at American Lawyer Magazine, The National Law Journal and The Record among other publications, and as the Press Officer of Columbia Law School. His work has been recognized with several first place awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the New Jersey Press Association.

Being part of the Ridge View Echo brings Joe back to his roots and the kind of news coverage he loves: Telling the stories of people and local communities as well as keeping an eye on how their money is spent by their government officials.

Joe lives in Blairstown with his wife Rose, the founder of Quilting for a Cause, and their two wiener dogs. He is an artist in his spare time.