St. Justin the Martyr Church, located on Fischer Blvd. in Toms River, has been deemed structurally sound and will be open for weekend Masses Aug. 20-21. The announcement was made Aug. 19 by Father Mark Kreder, pastor, after the church building had sustained damage resulting from a late morning, one-car accident on Aug. 18.

According to online news reports and information on the parish website and Facebook pages, there were no injuries but the damages to the building initially rendered  it unsafe after a car ran into its side. The driver told Toms River police that when pulling out of her parking spot, her foot became stuck on the gas pedal and behind the brake pedal, causing her vehicle to accelerate forward, hit the curb and become airborne before hitting the building. There was moderate damage to the car.

Following the accident, Father Kreder said that the Toms River Township Building Department had initially “deemed the narthex part of the building unsafe” and that the insurance company had “immediately gotten a repair crew out to remedy the situation.”

The following day, Aug. 19, Father Kreder informed parishioners that temporary repairs were made and he was notified by the Township Building Department that the church was structurally sound and was given approval to use the church for weekend Masses Aug. 20-21.

“At the present time, we will not be able to enter through the main doors of the church and can only use the side doors until all of the repairs are made,” he said. “We will be holding all of our Sunday Masses and other events scheduled in the church.”

He added that volunteers are needed to direct parishioners and to open and close the doors as people enter the building.

“Fortunately, no one was injured. That is the most important thing,” Father Kreder reiterated. 

“I would like to thank the Toms River Police Department, who as always are most professional and helpful, the EMS workers, the Toms River East Fire Department and all those who responded to this accident. Once again, we are grateful to Almighty God that no one was injured,” he said.