NEWARK, NJ - Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray and Newark Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose announced today that the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office is investigating a police pursuit that resulted in the death of a pedestrian.
Chynna E. Willis, 24, of East Orange was struck and killed by Ken Gunther, 45, of Newark. Gunther was being pursued by Newark Police at the time of the crash. The preliminary investigation indicates that Willis was pronounced dead at the scene at approximately 3:07 am after Gunther’s Dodge Charger jumped the curb in the 400 block of University Avenue, striking and killing Willis.
Gunther sustained minor injuries. He was treated and released from University Hospital. He has been charged with one count of eluding and one count of resisting arrest. He is currently in custody.
The investigation is active and ongoing. It is being handled by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force and the Professional Standards Bureau which will review the pursuit to determine if officers followed proper procedure.