‘That was God looking after me’: Toll worker calls out of work hours before crash

Garden State Parkway

A New Jersey toll collector’s “gut feeling” made her call out of work early Friday. Hours later, a garbage truck crashed into the booth she typically works in, injuring her substitute and the driver.

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“I believe 100% that was God looking out for me,” Jessica Daley, who collects tolls on the Garden State Parkway at the Barnegat Toll Plaza, told WNBC-TV.

According to the New Jersey State Police, the crash occurred at about 6:15 a.m., News12 New Jersey reported. The crash site is located approximately halfway between Atlantic City and New York City on the state’s 173-mile north-south toll road.

A motorist driving a Chevrolet pickup had stopped to pay a toll when a yellow Mack garbage truck hit the toll booth, sending debris crashing onto the booth and the pickup, according to the news outlet.

The garbage truck driver, a 44-year-old man from Toms River, and the toll collector, a 43-year-old woman from Little Egg Harbor, were hospitalized in serious condition. The pickup driver was not hurt, News12 New Jersey reported.

Daley, who normally works at that particular toll booth, said she had a “premonition” about going to work that day, according to WNBC.

“I had just like a really like, bad gut feeling that something was going to happen,” she told the television station. “Like something terrible was going to happen.”

Daley said she had a stronger feeling at about 4 a.m.

“I actually had a feeling that I was going to get in a car accident,” Daley told WNBC. “And it was so strong, that I actually called out and I literally never call out of work.”

The accident happened nearly three hours later, and Daley said she was shaken up after hearing about the crash.

“My immediate response honestly, I dropped to my knees and just started crying,” Daley told the television station. “I was praying for everybody involved and thanking God that I had that feeling to call out.”

According to state police, the crash remains under investigation. A spokesperson for the New Jersey Turnpike Authority said the injured toll collector was hospitalized for several hours before being discharged, WNBC reported.

Daley returned to work on Saturday.

“I think her gut instinct was an angel or a premonition from a guardian angel telling her not to go in to protect her,” the woman’s mother, Jennifer Daley, told the television station. “It’s hard to feel so happy that my daughter wasn’t there, and at the same time, feel heartbreak for the ones that were involved.”

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