90-year-old Harrison woman thrown nearly 12 feet after hit-and-run

The approximate area of a hit-and-run in Harrison -- South Fifth St. and Harrison Ave.
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The approximate area of a hit-and-run in Harrison — South Fifth St. and Harrison Ave.

Harrison police are continuing to investigate exactly how a 90-year-old town woman was struck by a hit-and-run driver over the weekend.

Police Capt. Mike Green says the Detective Bureau is following several leads to locate the driver of an SUV that struck Mary Hennit as she crossed the street at the intersection of South Fifth Street and Harrison Avenue at around 3:40 p.m., May 30.

“There was some radio chatter that said another driver may have followed the vehicle that struck the victim,” Green said. “If that did happen, we want that driver to call us — or if anyone else has information, like a video or photos, to do the same.”

The incident all unfolded as Hennit was heading to church. Police gave the following account in a report Green provided to The Observer:

An eyewitness told police he saw Hennit hit by a vehicle with a partial license plate of LJS7 or LXZ7. The witness says the driver of the car briefly stopped — but then took off thereafter on South Fifth St. Another witness told police the car made a fast left turn from Harrison Ave. on to South Fifth St., when it struck Hennit, who was crossing in a crosswalk.

All eyewitnesses describe the vehicle as a black or dark-colored SUV — possibly a Dodge Durango — with tinted windows. No witness could describe the driver or anyone else who might have been in the car at the time of the incident, but all witnesses said the vehicle continued to travel on South Fifth St. after the incident.

Police officer Michael Gilmore, who took a report after the incident, wrote in his description that Hennit had the right of way when she was crossing the street. He also said her right knee was “contorted unnaturally.”

Gilmore’s report also says Hennit was thrown at least 11 1/2 feet after impact.

The full extent of Hennit’s injuries aren’t immediately knows, but they’re not expected to be life-threatening, according to Green.

If you witnessed the accident — or if you have any details about it, including photos, videos or anything else that could help investigators — call the Harrison Police Department immediately at 973-483-4100.

We’ll update this story as soon as information becomes available.

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.