RARITAN, NJ - A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise funds for the family of the 1-year-old boy killed when he, his mother and brother were hit by a car on Anderson Street in Raritan on Saturday.
Matías Ortega was killed on the evening of his first birthday when a vehicle hit two cars and then his family as he was being pushed in a stroller by his mother, Domitila Rosales. Rosales is currently in stable condition and her 5-year-old son, Daniel Ortega, who was walking with them, is in critical condition.
The fund was set up to help pay for funeral expenses for Matías Ortega, and, within two hours as of 7:30 p.m. Monday, had already collected $910 of a $25,000 goal.
A memorial with flowers and pictures has been set up at the site of the crash on Anderson Street, near St. Ann Church, and residents gathered Monday to pay tribute to the Raritan family.
In addition, the Borough of Raritan has posted a message to its Facebook page extending its sympathies, and offering ways of giving donations to the family. According to the post, donations can be sent to Vinnie's Pizza and Pasta, 990 U.S. Highway 202 South, Branchburg, NJ 08876, with checks made out to Lorenzo Teodoro Ortega.
Ronald B. Rebernik, 62, of Second Street, has been charged with second degree vehicular homicide, two counts of third degree assault by auto, third degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance and a disorderly persons offense of being under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance in the crash. He was also issued motor vehicle summonses for driving while intoxicated, driving while intoxicated in a school zone, careless driving, reckless driving and having a controlled dangerous substance in a motor vehicle.
According to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael Robertson, the investigation revealed that Rebernik was driving a 2004 Ford Escape southbound on Anderson Street when he crossed to the northbound side, struck two parked cars, left the roadway and continued southbound on the sidewalk where he struck the family. Rebernik, Robertson said, then continued southbound on the sidewalk and re-entered the roadway where he hit two more parked cars on the northbound side of Anderson Street before being disabled.
Rebernik was taken to an area hospital, and he remains under police guard. Once he is released from the hospital, Robertson said, Rebernik will be taken to Somerset County Jail pending a detention hearing.
Anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to contact the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office at 908-231-7100 or the Raritan Borough Police Department at 908-725-6700. Anonymous reports can also be made via the STOPit app, which can downloaded in the Google Play Store or Apple App Store with access code SOMERSETNJ.
Information can also be submitted through the Crime Stoppers' Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS or online at www.888577tips.org. All anonymous tips will be kept confidential.
To donate to the family, visit https://www.gofundme.com/matias-ortega-baby-rip.