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Suspect found in hit-and-run pedestrian death

Two weeks after a hit-and-run accident that allegedly killed a woman, authorities with the Essex County Police Department reported they have found a man whom they believe was driving the van that struck the woman on the day of the incident. The accident occurred on Nov. 15 around 12:00 p.m. in Nutley.

According to reports, the 77-year-old woman was crossing Centre Street and Ravine Avenue. Witnesses reported that a dark-colored van then struck her. Instead of stopping, the van reportedly left the scene, traveling down Franklin Avenue near Shoprite as it fled.

The woman was transported by responding medical personnel to University Hospital where she was pronounced dead from her injuries. Law enforcement had been looking for the van and its driver, posting a $5,000 reward in exchange for information identifying him. Police later located a man they believe was driving the van. They indicated that the man is cooperating with investigators. A county prosecutor indicated that the man has not yet been charged, and law enforcement officers are still investigating.

Many pedestrian accidents occur when drivers fail to notice individuals on the road due to some form of distraction. When a motorist strikes a pedestrian, the driver is mandated by law to stay at the scene and administer aid until police can arrive. When a driver's negligence causes the wrongful death of a pedestrian and the driver then flees, he or she may face both criminal penalties and civil liability. The family of those wrongfully killed may be able to hold the driver to be civilly liable by filing a wrongful death civil suit against them in court. Through a lawsuit, families may be able to recover compensation for their losses.

Source: South Orange Patch , "Essex Police Locate Suspect Involved in Hit and Run Death of Nutley Woman", Emily Everson, December 03, 2014

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