Miss Maryland US nearly got crowned Monday morning when the BMW she was riding in got slammed at a New Jersey intersection.
Beauty-pageant queen Rachel LaBatt told The Post she was headed to Newark Penn Station to take a train back home after strutting the catwalk during Fashion Week in the Big Apple when the smash-up occurred around 9 a.m. in Glen Ridge in Essex County.
“We were just leaving the house, and we got hit from the side. But everyone’s OK, and we’re still going to catch our train back home,” LaBatt said — standing on a corner next to a pink suitcase with her sparkly crown and “Maryland” sash on top in a clear box.
“I think I was more nervous to walk the runway than I am about any injury at this point,” she added with a toothy grin — just feet from the wreckage of crushed metal and glass.
LaBatt said she was with her videographer and a family friend who was driving at the time. Their car was hit by a local plumbing and heating van at the corner of Ridgewood Avenue and Dodd Street, she said. The force of the crash spun the car that LaBatt was in completely around.
But no one was injured, she said.
LaBatt was named Miss Maryland United States in 2021 — but it wasn’t her first experience on a runway. The beauty queen is also a flight test engineer for the Navy, where she works on the P-8 Poseidon, an airplane used in anti-submarine warfare.
In an interview with Southern Maryland News last year, LaBatt said the most difficult part of pageant competition was wearing heels.
“I wear steel-toed shoes at work when I get on the aircraft,” she said. “Heels are not welcomed on our aircraft!”
The Glen Ridge Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Post, nor did the business tied to the work van.