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Man Charged in 2021 Collision Critically Injuring Two in Kearny

Hudson County

By: Najla Alexander

On Friday, December 2, Hudson County Regional Collision Investigation Unit members arrested a 22-year-old man in connection with a crash that seriously injured two passengers in Kearny on Tuesday, October 19, 2021, according to Hudson County officials. 

Authorities say, Daniel Leal Jr., of Meriden, Connecticut, is charged with two counts of Aggravated Assault, crimes of the second degree, two counts of Assault by Auto While Driving Under the Influence (Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury), crimes of the third degree, Assault by Auto While Driving Under the Influence (Resulting in Bodily Injury), a crime of the fourth degree, and Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, a crime of the second degree.

Officials say that he was arrested at the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office in Secaucus and transported to the Hudson County Correction Facility pending his first court appearance. 

Authorities say at approximately 4:08 a.m. on Tuesday, October 19, 2021, members of the Kearny Police Department responded to the area of Route 7 and the Harrison Avenue split on reports of a vehicle that crashed into a parked tractor-trailer.

According to officials, all four occupants of the car were transported to University Hospital in Newark.   

Two passengers, a 19-year-old woman and a 20-year-old man, both of Passaic, were critically injured.  

Officials say that Leal was a Garfield resident at the time of the collision, and a second 20-year-old Passaic man suffered injuries that were not considered life-threatening.

According to officials,, the investigation found Leal was under the influence when he was traveling west on Route 7 in a 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer and collided with a tractor-trailer parked on the side of the road.  

Following a court-authorized search of the vehicle, officials report a revolver was found in the 'cars trunk. 

Prosecutor Suarez credited the Hudson County Regional Collision Investigation Unit and the Kearny Police Department with the investigation and arrest.