NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - A Piscataway man pleaded guilty today in causing the death of a 49-year-old New Brunswick High School vice principal during a hit and run incident in 2018, Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey announced today.
Freddy S. Garcia Jr., 22, of Piscataway pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide, knowingly leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death, causing death while driving with a suspended license, filing a false report and hindering his own apprehension.
Authorities say Garcia was involved in illegal street racing when he struck Tyrone Harrison, 49, of Franklin (Somerset). Harrison was walking from the Edison Train Station to a relative’s house when he was hit. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Under a plea agreement reached with Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Keith Abrams, Garcia will be sentenced to a prison term of 13 years, according to the Prosecutor's Office. The first 10 years are subject to the No Early Release Act. He will have to serve the first 8½ years of his prison term before becoming eligible for parole.
In addition, Garcia will be subject to a three-year loss of license upon his release from prison.
Several hundred people filled the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens last October to say goodbye to Harrison, a beloved figure at New Brunswick High School.
"I know this is tough for all of us," Harrison's brother, Shawn, told the people who filled the pews at the time. "Yet, you look around this church. Everyone here Tyrone touched in a positive way. I'm so happy that you had a touch of what we had with Tyrone," the brother said as he spoke at the "celebration of life" ceremony.
Garcia was charged following an investigation by Officer Meredith Robbins of the Piscataway Police Department and Detective Jonathan Berman of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.
Police say on Oct. 6, 2018, at approximately 9:17 p.m., some vehicles were illegally street racing on Stelton Road in Piscataway. Garcia lost control of his 2003 Honda Accord and struck and killed Harrison on Stelton Road near Ethel Avenue in Piscataway.
Then, Garcia abandoned his car and fled the scene, according to the Prosecutor's Office. Later, Garcia falsely reported that his car, which was not registered or insured, was stolen.
Garcia is scheduled to be sentenced by New Brunswick Superior Court Judge Diane Pincus on Aug. 23.