DWI cited in 2 crashes

By Karen Zautyk 

Observer Correspondent 


Two local men have been charged criminally with assault by auto following separate accidents in the township, a hit-and-run and a headon collision, Kearny police reported. Both are also accused of driving while intoxicated.

At 12:30 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 23, Officer Brian Wisely responded to the report of a pedestrian having been struck by an auto in the area of Schuyler Ave. and King St. and found a “severely injured” man in the roadway on John Hay Ave. Police said the vehicle had fled the scene.

The officer summoned Kearny EMS, which took the victim, a 42-year-old Kearny resident, to University Hospital, Newark, for treatment of head and arm injuries.

Processing the scene of the hit-run, Wisely located evidence, including a sheared-off side mirror, that the vehicle involved was a blue Subaru, police reported. A short time later, Officer Daniel Esteves spotted a blue Subaru with fresh damage near Quincy Ave. and Windsor St., and he and Officer Sean Kelly located and arrested the owner, Luciano Sanchez, 20, of Kearny, after he failed field sobriety tests, police said.

Accident investigator Sgt. Richard Poplaski later interviewed the victim at the hospital and also located witnesses to the accident who identified Sanchez as the driver, police said.

In addition to assault by auto, Sanchez was charged criminally with endangering an injured person and with possession of a CDS (suspected marijuana) and drug paraphernalia. Motor vehicle charges included DWI, DWI in a school zone, reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident and failure to yield to a pedestrian.

Police Chief John Dowie said the victim was reported in stable condition.

The head-on collision, which sent three people to the hospital, occurred at about 6:50 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 24, on Bergen Ave. between Schuyler and Harrison Aves.

Officers T.J. Hernandez and Stephen Hroncich and Sgt. Paul Bershefski arrived at the scene to find two heavily damaged vehicles, a 2013 BMW and a 2009 Honda, and several victims lying on the sidewalk, police said.

It was determined that the BMW driver, Jonathan Quevedo-Garcia, 27, of Kearny, was responsible for the crash, police said.

Quevedo-Garcia, who reportedly failed field sobriety tests, was charged with DWI, reckless driving, driving with a suspended license and failure to surrender same. Criminally, he was charged with three counts of assault by auto.

The injured, all of whom had been in the Honda, were three North Arlington residents — two males and a female. They were taken to Clara Maass Medical Center, Belleville, for treatment.

The Observer Staff