Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and Director Kenneth P. McCormick of the North Brunswick Police Department announced today that a driver has been charged with causing a serious crash and injuring multiple people in the Township last night.
Officials said Mr. Christopher L. Mertens, 40, of the Monmouth Junction section of South Brunswick, was arrested and charged Sunday with aggravated assault in the second degree, endangering the welfare of a child in the second degree, assault by auto in the third degree, endangering another person by knowingly engaging in conduct which creates a substantial risk of death in the third degree, three counts of assault by auto in the fourth degree, and obstruction of the administration of law in the fourth degree.
Officials say Patrolman Jason Zier of the North Brunswick Police Department and Detective Jonathan Berman of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office determined that on Saturday, August 8, at approximately 8:50 pm on Route 1 South just south of Route 130, Mertens was driving a 2018 Infiniti Coupe, accompanied by his two young children, traveling on Route 1 South at a high rate of speed while intoxicated.
Mertens rear-ended a 2003 Chevrolet Blazer causing it to roll over and catch on fire.
The driver of the Blazer, a 19-year old male from Chesterfield, was taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, and then was transferred to St. Barnabas Hospital for the burns he sustained in the crash.
His passenger, a 21-year-old woman from Suffern, New York, was treated and released from Robert Wood Johnson.
Mertens’ children were also taken to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital official said.
The investigation is active and is continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Patrolman Zier of the North Brunswick Police Department at (732) 247-0922 ext. 316, or Detective Berman of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-4328.
As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charges against Mertens are merely accusations and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.