The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office announced on Nov. 9 that it is investigating a fatal motor vehicle crash that occurred following a police pursuit after an attempted car theft in Marlboro.
According to the Attorney General’s Office, the motor vehicle crash occurred at about 2:14 a.m. Nov. 9 near the intersection of Spring Valley Road and Route 9 south in Old Bridge.
A portion of Spring Valley Road is in Marlboro. The road intersects Route 9 at the border of Marlboro and Old Bridge.
According to a press release, the incident began after a Marlboro police officer attempted to stop a vehicle in connection with a criminal investigation of an attempted car theft from a residence in Marlboro.
Authorities did not say where in Marlboro the attempted car theft occurred or if the vehicle that was the target of the attempted theft was actually stolen and was the vehicle the officer was pursuing.
According to the press release, the vehicle that was being pursued by the Marlboro police officer, who was not named by authorities, allegedly struck unrelated vehicles at Spring Valley Road and Route 9 south.
Authorities said an occupant in one vehicle died as a result of the crash and three other individuals were injured in the incident.
The name of the individual who died and the names of the other individuals who were involved in the incident were not released as of Nov. 9.
The News Transcript reached out to Marlboro Mayor Jonathan Hornik for comment on Nov. 10.
The mayor responded and said, “It’s a terrible tragedy. My thoughts and prayers go to those who were killed and injured in this vehicle theft pursuit, as well as to the police officer who is devastated by what has happened.
“The people responsible for this tragic accident are the criminals who decided stealing a car from Marlboro was a way to make a living.
“Since the (Attorney General) lifted the restriction on the ability of police to chase those attempting car thefts, Marlboro police have made 31 arrests, with successful attempted auto thefts down 40% this year.
“Criminals need to be held responsible for their bad acts. I believe people and their families deserve to live in safe neighborhoods and the police play an important part of that premise,” Hornik said.
A 2019 state law requires the Attorney General’s Office to conduct investigations of a person’s death that occurs during an encounter with a law enforcement officer acting in the officer’s official capacity or while the decedent is in custody.
The law requires that all such investigations be presented to a grand jury to determine if the evidence supports the return of an indictment against the officer or officers involved, according to the press release.
The investigation into the incident is ongoing and no further information – including whether anyone was arrested as a result of the attempted car theft in Marlboro – is being released at this time, according to the Attorney General’s press release.