CLARK, NJ – Ronaldo Godwin, 43, of Newark has been charged with second-degree death by auto and second-degree witness tampering in connection with a fatal Parkway crash on Monday according to Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay V. Ruotolo.

Godwin, is in custody and has been criminally charged with causing a two-vehicle collision on the Garden State Parkway earlier this week that resulted in the death of 46-year-old Christopher Meikle of East Orange.  Godwin was also charged with trying to cover up his role in the incident.

The UCPO said shortly before 2:45 a.m. on Monday, February 15, members of the New Jersey State Police were dispatched to the area of mile marker 136 in the southbound lanes of the Garden State Parkway in Clark. On arrival state troopers found Meikle’s vehicle, a Lexus, engulfed in flames near the highway’s center median, as well as Godwin’s vehicle, a Range Rover, which had overturned on the shoulder.

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Meikle was rushed to RWJ University Hospital in Rahway, where he was pronounced dead at approximately 3:35 a.m., while Godwin was transported to University Hospital in Newark for emergency treatment said officials.

An investigation involving members of the State Police and the Union County Homicide Task Force revealed that Godwin had struck Meikle from behind at a high rate of speed, causing the collision, and when a good Samaritan motorist pulled over to offer assistance, Godwin requested that he be transported away from the scene, indicating that he was prepared to offer an unspecified reward in exchange.

Godwin has since been discharged from the hospital and lodged in the Union County Jail pending a first appearance and detention hearing scheduled to take place in Union County Superior Court according to the UCPO.

“I would like to commend the hard work of our Homicide Task Force and our partners at the New Jersey State Police, under the leadership of Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, which allowed us to quickly bring charges in this terrible incident,” acting Prosecutor Ruotolo said.

NJ State Police Detective, Nagib Saad is asking anyone with information about this incident to call 732-441-4500, Ext. 3434, or Task Force Sgt. Danika Ramos at 908-451-7739.

Officials said convictions on charges of this nature can be punishable by up to 20 years in state prison.  

According to the UCPO, these criminal charges are mere accusations. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

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