Mother Hopes Fatal Crash Will Encourge Sober Driving

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CHESTNUTHILL TOWNSHIP -- Wearing her son Jason's jacket, a heartbroken Athena Frey embraced her grieving daughter Danielle Paterson.

"I still don't even believe that he is gone. It's not even going to register," Frey says.

Jason Frey was killed in a crash on Interstate 80 early Friday morning in Hardwick Township, New Jersey, a short distance from the state line.

Police say Amanda Rivera, 23, of Henryville was intoxicated when she drove the wrong way onto the interstate and collided head-on with the car carrying Jason and three young women.

The four women were taken to the hospital and are expected to recover, but Frey, 25, died at the scene.

Athena Frey says, "He would have made an excellent dad. He was a great uncle, always played with his nieces and nephews and made sure he made time for them."

Family members say the young people were on the road around 3:00 am Friday because they were returning from the NJ Transit station at Mt. Olive, where they had just picked up Jason's girlfriend of five years, Vanessa Wong.

Athena Frey says, "He was good to his girlfriend, treated her like gold, good to his sisters, and we are going to miss him."

Frey spent most of his life in Monroe County and attended Pleasant Valley High School, but family members say he recently moved to Whiting, New Jersey to watch after his grandmother, and was home in Chestnuthill Township for the holidays.

The women hope their loss will keep other young people from driving drunk or high.

Athena Frey says, "I already see a lot of his friends posting stuff on Facebook, saying that this has made me think twice, I am not doing this anymore. So, if I can get that message out for a little while and make a little bit of a difference, that would be great."


  • L Garrido

    Jason was belted in his seat. The girl in the back with him was not belted in and she was thrown around like a projectile. Now because of someones drunken decision to drive my beloved grandson is gone. She has been charged with vehicular homicide and will hopefully be sentenced to a long time in jail. But she will get out and still live her life, my baby is gone from us forever.

  • Connie Schrader

    My heart aches for them. I know their pain and what that loss feels like.I lost my 18 year old to a drunk driver 7 years ago. Prayers & (((HUGS))) to the family. No mother should ever have to bury a child!

  • Sbw139

    That’s horrible, my mom died in an accident caused by a drunk driver. It’s not fair they get a second chance and a slap on the wrist for punishment and the innocent pay with their lives.

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