MANCHESTER - An Ocean County teen is in critical condition after being struck by a car while riding his bike along Route 37.

The 16-year-old from Lakehurst was riding with a friend at around 8:30 p.m. Monday when he went to cross over the highway.  His friend witnessed the crash. The boys had just finished playing football at a nearby park. 

The teen was struck by a Toyota Camry driven by Monica Holiday, 37, traveling with her 9-year-old son. The teen suffered serious head trauma and was not wearing a helmet according to police.  

Manchester Police Captain Todd Malland says a helmet could have given the boy some protection.

"We understand that kids, older kids, don't think they need to wear helmets, that it's not cool to wear helmets, but the law does require you to wear a helmet until the age of 17,” he says.

The boy, whose identity is not being released, is in critical condition at Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune.

The crash is under investigation, but police say it appears the driver of the Camry had the right of way.