UCPO: West Hudson man gets 7½ years in prison for leaving scene of fatal accident

A West Hudson man who was convicted by a jury in March for fatally striking a 12-year-old child in Union and fleeing the scene in July 2019 was sentenced to 7½ years in state prison, Union County Prosecutor William A. Daniel announced.

Jose Marrero, 39, of Kearny, was sentenced Friday, June 10, for knowingly leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death by Union County Superior Court Judge Robert Kirsch.

It was just before 8 p.m., July 17, 2019, when Union Police Department patrol units responded to a report of a pedestrian being struck by a vehicle in the area of Forest Drive and Galloping Hill Road, according to Assistant Prosecutors Scott Peterson and James Brady who prosecuted the case. There, they found an unresponsive, Jeremy Maraj, 12, of Union, who was rushed to University Hospital in Newark.

He succumbed to his injuries two days later.

At trial, the state revealed at the time of the accident, Marrero was driving his work vehicle, a 2016 Nissan NV200 Cargo Van, when he struck Maraj on the shoulder of Galloping Hill Road.  Witnesses to the accident testified Marrero didn’t stop and fled the scene.

Video surveillance obtained from the area and parts from the van recovered at the scene ultimately led detectives to Marrero, the prosecutors said.

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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.