PATERSON, NJ - A 27-year-old North Arlington man turned himself into police on Thursday and was arrested for his role in a hit-and-run accident that critically injured Montclair State University student Anna Semioli on October 9, sources say.
The Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office and the Clifton Police Department arrested Michael Choynowski on one count of Knowingly Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Accident Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury, a violation of NJSA 2C:12-1.1, a crime of the Third Degree, which carries a sentence of three to five years; and Endangering an Injured Victim, a violation of NJSA 2C:12-1.2(A), a crime of the Third Degree, which carries a sentence of three to five years.
The 22-year-old Semioli, a Moonachie resident, was walking alongside Route 46 near Valley Road in Clifton when she was struck by a vehicle that kept going. After investigation, reviewing video footage and interviewing witnesses, it was alleged that Choynowski may have been operating the black Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck, traveling eastbound on Route 46 at approximately 12:03 AM.
The Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit and the Clifton Police Department have also recovered the vehicle and continue to seek witnesses who may have additional information.
Montclair State University Police Chief Paul Cell issued the following statement, "The University Police Department is pleased that this investigation is progressing and a suspect has been identified. We will continue to work closely with the Passaic Prosecutor’s Office and the Clifton Police Department to create a timeline of events that led to this accident. We urge anyone with information, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem, to come forward and speak with investigators."
Note: Choynowski is presumed innocent until such time as the charges and allegations are proven beyond a reasonable doubt.