A 41-year-old North Brunswick man has been charged in connection to a series of crashes that left a bicyclist and a police officer injured on Feb. 10.
“We were very lucky today. When you see the police vehicle and hear from witnesses who saw the bicyclist run over, you realize it is a miracle,” South Brunswick Police Chief Raymond Hayducka said in a statement released Feb. 11.
The incident began at 1:29 p.m. Feb. 10 when the bicyclist, a 40-year-old East Brunswick man, was riding on Route 522, crossing over Route 130 to Fresh Ponds Road, according to reports.
At the same time, a 2017 Ford passenger van driven by the North Brunswick man made a left turn from Route 522 onto Route 130 northbound and ran over the bicyclist, police said.
The van reportedly never stopped and headed northbound on Route 130.
South Brunswick PFC Joseph Marrero was out of his patrol SUV across the highway and witnessed the bicyclist get struck, according to reports. Marrero got back in his vehicle and headed along Route 130 north, attempting to locate the van that had fled. As he headed northbound, traffic began to slow and he took evasive action, according to reports.
His SUV left the roadway and hit a berm, which sent the vehicle airborne. The SUV then struck a sign and a utility pole before coming to rest in a parking lot, according to reports.
The Monmouth Junction Fire Department responded to the scene and freed Marrero from the vehicle.
South Brunswick EMS and paramedics transported Marrero to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, while Monroe EMS transported the bicyclist to the same hospital.
Both the officer and bicyclist were released from the hospital in the evening of Feb. 10, according to reports.
The bicyclist was able to provide officers with a partial license plate of the van that struck him. Police dispatchers determined the van belonged to to Rainbow Home Adult Day Care in Somerset. After making contact with the business, the North Brunswick man returned to the scene, police said.
The suspect was charged with endangering an injured victim, leaving the scene of an accident, reckless driving, and several other motor vehicle offenses.
In addition, Rainbow Home Adult Day Care was cited for having an unregistered vehicle and improperly licensed driver using their vehicle.
“The bicyclist had amazing composure even after being struck to remember the majority of the license plate number. I am thankful that everyone was released from the hospital, but aggravated at the conduct of the driver who started everything,” Hayducka said in the statement.
South Brunswick Police Sgt. William Merkler is the lead investigator on this case. Anyone with information should call 732-329-4646.
The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office and Franklin Township Police Department assisted with the case.