CRANBURY, NJ – Township police are actively searching for the hit and run driver that injured a teenage girl and killed her pet dog as they crossed South Main Street Wednesday night.
“We are examining all physical evidence and witness accounts as we are actively following up to locate the driver who callously drove away without stopping,” Chief of Police Rickey Varga said in a message to residents Thursday. “Numerous witnesses were in the area, however we are searching for all additional witnesses who may have seen something during this time frame. We will diligently pursue all leads as we are determined to apprehend the offender in this case.”
According to Chief Varga, the 13-year-old township girl was crossing South Main Street in the crosswalk at Evans Drive with her dog around 6:18 p.m. when a beige-colored SUV with a silver trim hit her and the dog.
Chief Varga said the SUV driver did not stop to render aid to the girl following the impact and fled the scene, heading north on Main Street.
Cranbury Police, Cranbury Volunteer Fire Company, and Cranbury First Aid Squad all responded to the scene, and the girl was transported to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick with non-life threatening injuries, he said.
According to Chief Varga, her dog did not survive the impact.
Police are looking for an older model Ford Explorer that is beige with a silver trim, that was heading north on Main Street around the time of the crash, he said.
Chief Varga said vehicles matching this description that were seen in the vicinity of Route 130 or Plainsboro Road around this time are also of interest, as the driver may have headed in the direction of either as they fled the scene.
A police SUV monitored the intersection and crosswalk Thursday night around the same time as the incident the night before, possibly looking for the suspect vehicle to return.
The incident struck a chord in the quiet, historic village downtown, just off Route 130 in Middlesex County.
Unlike many of the surrounding towns, Cranbury and its 3,000 or so residents enjoy the benefits of being able to walk to the various businesses, services, and school, without needing a car to get around.
Downtown eating establishments have outdoor seating just a few feet away from the main street and families are often seen strolling the sidewalks.
In recent years, the Township Committee invested thousands of dollars to redo the sidewalks and street lights along North Main Street to keep the pedestrian-friendly atmosphere of the community.
The last similar incident took place Sept. 5, 2015 when a “mechanical malfunction” caused an East Brunswick driver to hit a second vehicle at a North Main Street intersection and then continue on into a group of people dining outside at Cranbury Pizza, injuring two juveniles.
Police ask anyone who may have been in the area of the downtown village during the Wednesday night time frame, who may have seen the vehicle or may have any information to contact the Cranbury Township Police at (609) 395-0031.
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