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UPDATE ON FATALITY AS A RESULT OF A MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT AT ALSTEDE FARMS IN CHESTER TOWNSHIP

Friday, March 27, 2015


Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp and Chester Township Police Chief Wayne Martini announce the conclusion of the criminal investigation into the October 2014 motor vehicle accident that resulted in the death of a minor child at the Alstede Farms in Chester, New Jersey.     

On October 12, 2014, law enforcement was dispatched to Alstede Farms located at 1 Alstede Farms Lane, Chester New Jersey on a report of pedestrians struck by a vehicle.  A minor child and two adults were struck and injured by a shuttle bus.  The minor child ultimately succumbed to her injuries. 

The investigation revealed that a 2006 Chevrolet van, color white (Vehicle #1), as well as a second van, color black (Vehicle #2), were shuttling passengers to and from stops between the Gladstone Train Station and Alstede Farms.  At the time of this incident, Vehicle #2 was parked in a driveway of 94 Rt. 24 and was loading passengers.  Vehicle #1 was positioned behind Vehicle #2.  The minor child, her mother, and friend, were positioned between Vehicle #2 and Vehicle #1 when Vehicle #1 rolled forward causing the fatal injuries to the minor child, and the injuries to the other parties. 

After a thorough investigation by law enforcement, and in coordination with the Morris County Medical Examiner’s Office, and Drug Scan, a private toxicology company, no evidence of criminal conduct was found on the part of the driver of the vehicle.  As such, no criminal charges are forthcoming arising out of this incident. 

Prosecutor Knapp would like to thank Police Chief Wayne Martini and the Chester Township Police Department, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Section, the Morris County Medical Examiner’s Office, and members of the Major Crimes Unit of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office for their collective assistance in this matter.


Any inquiries can be directed to Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Deputy Chief Denise Arseneault at 973-285-6262 or DArseneault@co.morris.nj.us.




MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO 2013 MOTOR VEHICLE CRASH THAT KILLED THREE IN JEFFERSON TOWNSHIP

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp announces that Defendant Luis E. Torres, age 39, of Jersey City, New Jersey, pled guilty today in Morris County Superior Court before the Honorable Robert J. Gilson, J.S.C. to charges stemming from a drunk driving motor vehicle crash that occurred on August 24, 2013 in Jefferson Township, which left three occupants of his vehicle dead.

The Defendant pled guilty to one count of Aggravated Manslaughter, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-4a(1), a crime of the first degree, Two counts of Vehicular Homicide, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5a, crimes of the second degree, four counts of Assault by Auto, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1c(1), crimes of the fourth degree, one count of Assault by Auto, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1c(2), a crime of the third degree and Driving While Intoxicated. Under the terms of the plea agreement, the State will seek a sentence of twenty (20) years in New Jersey State Prison with an 85% period of parole ineligibility pursuant to the No Early Release Act.   

On August 24, 2013, defendant and his family were traveling on Route 15 South in Jefferson Township, New Jersey. The defendant was operating a 2002 Ford Explorer when it flipped over.  There were nine occupants inside the vehicle including the defendant. Three of the occupants were children under the age of 18. Several passengers were ejected from the vehicle resulting in the deaths of three passengers. The defendant and five remaining passengers suffered injuries.  The decedents are Lucila Colon, age 62; Julissa Colon, age 36; and Tevia Booth, age 11. 

Sentencing in this matter is scheduled for May 29, 2015 before the Honorable James DeMarzo, J.S.C.  


Any inquiries can be directed to Deputy Chief Denise Arseneault, at 973-285-6262 or darseneault@co.morris.nj.us.

BODY FOUND IN PASSAIC RIVER IDENTIFIED

Thursday, March 19, 2015


Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp and Long Hill Township Police Chief Michael Mazzeo report that the body found in the Passaic River on March 18, 2015, has been positively identified as David Bird (age 55 when reported missing) who has been the subject of an ongoing missing person investigation.

 Dr. Carlos A Fonseca of the Morris County Medical Examiner’s Office, and forensic ondotologist Mitchell M. Kirshbaum, DDS have positively identified the body found as that of David Bird. Identification was made through dental records.  At this time, the Medical Examiner’s investigation into the cause and manner of death is ongoing.    

On Wednesday, March 18, 2015, at approximately 5:00 pm two (2) men canoeing in the Passaic River came across a red jacket located near branches. They immediately notified Bernards Township Police Department. Police later determined the existence of human remains and a multi-agency recovery operation commenced to include members of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, the Long Hill Township Police Department, the Bernards Township Police Department, the Liberty Corner Fire Department, Millington Fire Department, the Parsippany Search Rescue and Recovery Team, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office, the Morris County Park Police, Berkeley Heights Fire Department, Whippany Fire Department, Boonton Township Fire Department, Morris County Fire Coordinator, Denville Dive Team, Liberty Corner First Aid Squad. The following agencies supplied boats for the recovery: Whippany Fire Department, Millington Fire Department and Berkeley Heights Fire Department.

 The search for David Bird began on Saturday, January 11, 2014, when he was last seen leaving his home on Long Hill Road, in the Millington section of Long Hill Township, New Jersey, to take a walk.

The Long Hill Township Police Department had been the lead agency in this missing person investigation with assistance from the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office.

The following agencies were involved in the initial search: Long Hill Township Police Department, Morris County Sheriff’s Office, Morris County Department of Law and Public Safety-Office of Emergency Management, New Jersey State Police, Morris County Park Police, Harding Township Police Department, Bernards Township Police Department, Warren Township Police Department, New Jersey State Park Police, Bergen County Sheriff’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Millington Fire Department, Stirling Fire Department, Warren Fire Department, Liberty Corner Fire Department, New Vernon Fire Department, Chatham Township Fire Department, New Providence Fire Department, Berkeley Heights Fire Department, Somerset County Department of Public Safety, Parsippany Search Rescue and Recovery, Whippany Swift Water, Boonton Dive Team, Pequannock Dive Team, Jefferson Dive Team, Picatinny Dive Team, U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife, United States Veterans Administration Police and Fire – Lyons, NJ, Long Hill First Aid Squad, Long Hill Township Office of Emergency Management, the Salvation Army, Long Hill Community Emergency Response Team Volunteers, and  the Warren Township Community Emergency Response Team.

 The Bird family has requested that the community and media respect their privacy at this time.

Any inquiries can be directed to Deputy Chief Denise H. Arseneault 973-285-6262 or darseneault@co.morris.nj.us

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                     

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