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Man charged in South Amboy auto fatality

A Matawan man has been charged with causing the death of a bicyclist who died after he was struck by a car that was being driven by the defendant.

Francis Smith, 56, of Matawan, was charged on Jan. 22 with aggravated manslaughter, death by auto and leaving the scene of a motor vehicle crash involving fatal injuries, according to a statement released by Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey and Chief Darren Lavigne of the South Amboy Police Department.

The charges were filed after William Nash, 57, of South Amboy, died on Jan. 18 from head injuries he suffered when he was struck while riding his bike on Main Street in South Amboy on Jan. 17.

During the investigation, it was determined that Nash was riding on Main Street near Route 9 when Smith, who was driving a 2012 Hyundai Sonata, allegedly struck the victim from behind, according to the statement.

Nash was taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, where he died from his injuries.

Smith reportedly fled the scene, but was apprehended a half mile away when his car hit a curb and was disabled, police said.

Smith initially was charged with driving while intoxicated, aggravated assault and fleeing. The new charges were filed on Jan. 22.

Smith has been in custody since he initially was charged with injuring Nash, police said.

The charges were filed during an investigation by Officer Steven Clark of the South Amboy Police Department and Detective Donald Heck of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office. Anyone with information should call Clark at 732-721-0111 or Heck at 732-745-8842.

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