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Maryland Man Charged in Fatal Multi-Vehicle Crash Linked to Armed Robbery

South Brunswick Township

By: Richard L. Smith 

Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone announced the charging of 32-year-old Maryland resident, Mr. Franklin Hunter, for his alleged involvement in a fatal crash on Beekman Road in South Brunswick Township.

The crash, which occurred on December 22, 2022, has been a significant case in the region, drawing extensive investigation efforts from multiple law enforcement agencies.Ad Prosecutor Ciccone said authorities were called to the scene of a multi-vehicle crash on the afternoon of December 22, where they found a devastating scenario.

A Dodge Charger, later identified as stolen from Maryland, was involved in the crash while reportedly fleeing from an armed robbery in Franklin Township.

This high-speed escape led to collisions with three other occupied vehicles.

Tragically, Joshuah Matthews, a 31-year-old passenger from Washington, D.C., was found deceased in the Charger.

Other occupants of the Charger reportedly fled the scene with help from associates. The individuals in the other vehicles involved in the crash were transported to local hospitals for treatment of their injuries.

An extensive and collaborative investigation ensued, involving the South Brunswick Police Department, Franklin Township Police Department, the FBI's Branchburg Field Office, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Washington Field Division, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, and the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.Ad This joint effort led to the identification of Hunter as the driver of the Dodge Charger at the time of the crash.

On January 26, 2024, Hunter was charged with a slew of serious offenses, including first-degree Aggravated Manslaughter, second-degree Vehicular Homicide, and second-degree Knowingly Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Accident Resulting in Death, among others.

He is currently detained in the District of Columbia Central Detention Facility on unrelated charges.

Prosecutor Ciccone's office emphasizes that the charges against Hunter are merely accusations at this stage, and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

The case has attracted considerable attention, highlighting the complexities and dangers of crime-related vehicular incidents.