Spotswood Man Dies After Being Burned in Car Fire

UPDATE (8/19): New Brunswick Today has learned the identity of the deceased man, James M. Wittkopp.  The MCPO did not respond to our request to confirm this.

SPOTSWOOD, NJ—The Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO) announced that a man "sustained major burns in a car fire" on August 8.

And, according to published reports, the 42-year-old man died two days later, but still has not been identified by law enforcement.  He was a resident of Spotswood.

"The unidentified victim was taken by Medevac helicopter to The Burn Center at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston and is in critical condition," reads the initial statement from Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey.

According to the release, the MCPO "was called to assist to a car fire on Brunswick Avenue in Spotswood where one occupant was injured."

The release did not specify what time of day they were called in to help, or where on Brunswick Avenue the incident occurred.

New Brunswick Today has learned that the incident took place in the area of 88 Brunswick Avenue, between 2nd Street and Crescent Avenue/Snowhill Street.

According to one source, the man sufferred burns on 90 percent of his body before the fire was extinguished.

The investigation is active and continuing, according to the MCPO statement, which NBToday obtained despite all of our reporters being removed from the agency's media list in February. 

Anyone with information is asked to call Sergeant Edward Schapley of the Spotswood Police Department at (732) 416-1870.

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Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate and a community organizer, and was an independent candidate for Mayor of New Brunswick in 2018.