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Ambulance Worker Dead; West Orange Man injured in Newark Crash

Local man drove ambulance in a multi-vehicle crash on Monday.

[Updated: 9:50 p.m. Monday]
An ambulance attendant is dead following a multi-vehicle crash Monday in Newark that left three others injured, authorities said. Among the injured was a West Orange man, who was reportedly driving the ambulance.

Keith Chipepo, 30, of Montclair, was killed when a Chrysler Pacifica, driven by James A. Sterling, 29, of Elizabeth, collided with the private ambulance Chipepo was riding in around 11:15 a.m. at South Orange Avenue and South 9th Street, the Essex County Prosecutor's Office said.

Circumstances surrounding the collision, which also involved a food truck and a county transportation bus, are under investigation. New Jersey State Police were also on scene though the agency's involvement is not clear.

Sterling was charged aggravated manslaughter, driving with a suspended license, causing death and causing bodily injury while suspended.

He appeared before Superior Court Judge Michael A. Petrolle and bail was set at $300,000.

Chipepo was transported to University Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The three others who were injured - the driver of the ambulance identified as a 26-year-old from West Orange; a patient, a 57-year-old woman; and a 34-year-old Bloomfield man who was driving the food truck - remain hospitalized. The names of those injured were not released by authorities. The driver of the county bus declined treatment.

A state police spokesperson reached Monday afternoon had no further information about the incident.

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