Essex sheriff’s officer arrested after investigation into serious 2022 crash in Kearny: HCPO

A 36-year-old Essex County Sheriff’s Officer has been arrested by the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office in connection to a 2022 crash in Kearny that reportedly injured eight people, Prosecutor Esther Suarez said.

On Sept. 25, 2023, members of the Hudson County Regional Collision Investigation Unit arrested Michael Johnson, 36, of Irvington and charged him with three counts of aggravated assault, three counts of third-degree assault by auto and five counts of fourth-degree assault by auto.

Johnson was arrested at the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office in Secaucus and was remanded to the Hudson County Correctional Facility, South Kearny, pending his first court appearance. Johnson not on duty at the time of the collision, Suarez said.

On Saturday, June 4, 2022, shortly after 11:20 p.m., the Kearny Police Department was notified of a multi-vehicle collision in the area of Harrison Avenue and the Route 280 entrance ramp. Upon arrival, officers located three damaged vehicles — a Jeep Cherokee operated by Johnson, a Chevy Traverse and a Nissan Rogue — in the westbound lane of traffic.

Eight people were injured in the collision.

The investigation determined Johnson was under the influence, traveling east, at the time of the crash, Suarez 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.