Truck Driver Charged with Auto Fatality


EDISON, NJ - Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey and Chief Thomas Bryan of the Edison Police Department said a Pennsylvania man was arrested today on a charge of crossing into on-coming traffic while under the influence of narcotics and killing a motorist in the township.


John T. O’Donnell Sr., 57, of Nazareth, Pa., was charged with death by auto for causing the death on April 5, 2016 of Marcus Scroggins, 33, of Edison.


O’Donnell surrendered to authorities during an investigation by Detective Loren Long of the Edison Police Department and Detective Donald Heck of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.

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The investigation determined that O’Donnell was driving a U-Haul rental box truck and was heading north on Route 27 in Edison when he crossed into on-coming traffic at 1:47 p.m.


The box truck initially side-swiped a 1999 Ford Explorer. The driver of the Explorer was injured, but he declined medical treatment.


O’Donnell continued on the wrong side of the road and crashed head-on into a 1997 Pontiac Grand Am driven by Mr. Scroggins.


The box truck pushed the Pontiac about 100 feet before stopping at the Division Street intersection.


Emergency medical technicians arriving at the scene noted that O’Donnell was under the influence of narcotics and treated him with an opiate antidote commonly known as Narcan.




The investigation is active and is continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Long of the Edison Police Department at (732) 248-7400, or Detective Heck of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-3300.


As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charge against O’Donnell is merely an accusation and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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