BERNARDS TOWNSHIP, NJ – A 17-year-old male from Newark has been charged with vehicular homicide after allegedly fleeing police in a stolen vehicle last Friday before a crash resulting in the death of a 14-year-old Newark youth in Bernards Township, announced Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor, Warren Township Chief of Police William Keane and Bernards Township Chief of Police Michael Shimsky on Monday.
The ongoing investigation revealed that the vehicle in which the teens were traveling was allegedly stolen out of Warren Township, the release said. Over the past few months, Warren Township Police, as well as police in Bernards Township, have received multiple reports of motor vehicle burglaries and car thefts in both Bernards and Warren townships.
Prosecutor Robertson provided the following account:
At approximately 1 a.m. on Friday, the Warren Township Police Department responded to the area of Ashwood Court on the report of suspicious persons.
During the subsequent investigation, a vehicle was located and observed leaving the area of Skyline Drive.
When Warren Township Police attempted to initiate a motor vehicle stop, the vehicle failed to stop and took off at a high rate of speed.
While on Martinsville Road in Bernards Township, the vehicle left the roadway, overturned and rolled, striking a utility pole. One occupant of the vehicle was ejected and subsequently transported to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead.
He has been identified as Alexis Pabon, age 14, of Newark. The second vehicle occupant, a 17-year-old male from Newark, reportedly fled the accident scene on foot and was captured a short distance away by patrol officers, the report said. The 17-year-old was also transported to an area hospital with injuries sustained from the motor vehicle crash and listed in stable condition.
Robertson stated that the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Collison Analysis and Reconstruction Team, also known as C.A.R.T., responded to the scene to conduct the investigation with the Warren Township Police Department and the Bernards Township Police Department.
The cause and manner of death of Pabon is pending an autopsy that will be performed by the New Jersey Regional Medical Examiner Office in Newark, authorities said.
Charges have been filed against the 17-year-old juvenile for second-degree Death by Auto, second-degree Eluding, second-degree knowingly leaving the scene of a motor vehicle crash, third-degree Motor Vehicle Theft and third-degree Unlawful Taking a Means of Conveyance, according to the prosecutor's office, the prosecutor said.
Area police have been urging residents to properly secure their motor vehicles and to remove key fobs from vehicles when not in use after multiple thefts and vehicle break-ins recently.
Prosecutor Robertson, Chief Fodor, Chief Keane and Chief Shimsky request anyone with information to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Major Crimes Unit at (908) 231-7100, the Warren Township Police Department at (908) 753-1000, the Bernards Township Police Department at (908) 766-1122 or via the STOPit app.
The STOPit app can be downloaded to your smart phone for free at the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, access code: “SOMERSETNJ”. Information can also be provided through the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477) or online at www.888577tips.org or at www.scpo.net and click on either “Crime Stoppers” or “TIPS HOTLINE”. All anonymous Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential.
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