Local man killed in highway mishap

Nelson Coelho


Anthony J. Machcinski

Kearny resident, 23-year-old Nelson Coelho, was struck and killed while attempting to cross the Staten Island Expressway.

Police said the accident happened on Jan. 25 at 5:45 p.m. when Coelho tried to get get from the north side to the south side of the Expressway. As he made his way into westbound traffic, he was struck by a 2005 Toyota Camry driving in the left lane.

Officers who responded to the scene saw  Coelho unconscious and unresponsive on the roadway. He was immediately transported to Richmond University Hospital on Staten Island where he was pronounced dead.

The New York Police Department is currently holding an investigation into the accident but believe there is no criminality behind the accident that involved a 31-ear old white male who was driving the Camry.

Earlier that day, Coelho was involved in an accident, but, according to the NYPD, “the two incidents are separate and we have not determined why he was walking on the Expressway.”

Coelho was a 2006 graduate of Kearny High School and had been enrolled at West Virginia University, working on a degree in psychology.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of West Virginia, Coelho was arrested March 29 on drug charges and on September 15, pled guilty to distribution of oxycodone within 1,000 feet of West Virginia University. He was scheduled to be arraigned on Feb. 3.

The Jersey Journal had initially reported that Coelho was initially involved in a separate collision on a local road and may have been trying to walk home, but those reports had not been confirmed by The Observer at press time.

Viewing for Coelho as scheduled for Jan. 30 with a funeral mass scheduled on Jan. 31 at St. Stephen’s Church in Kearny.

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