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Passaic Man Charged with Leaving Scene of Fatal Crash

By metrowriter on
Bergen County

By: Najla Alexander 

A Passaic man fled the scene of a vehicle accident Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella reported.

According to Bergen County officials, the arrest of Justinian Cuevasmetemi, 71, of Passaic, for leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident resulted in death and endangering an injured victim.  

Authorities say the charges result from an investigation conducted by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office under the direction of Chief Jason Love and the Carlstadt Police Department under Acting Police Chief Thomas Cox.

At approximately 10:19 p.m. on Friday, January 20, the Carlstadt Police Department responded to a report of a hit-and-run crash involving a pedestrian that occurred on Hoboken Road in Carlstadt, officials say.   

The pedestrian, 61-year-old Deborah Peko-Lillis of Secaucus, officials said, was transported to Hackensack University Medical Center, where she was pronounced deceased due to her injuries during the collision.

An investigation by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit and the Carlstadt Police Department revealed that a 2017 Toyota RAV-4 operated by Justinian Cuevasmetemi struck the victim as she crossed Hoboken Road, gravely injuring her and subsequently fled the area before police arrival authorities reported. 

According to officials, on January 2, Justinian Cuevasmetemi was located and charged with second-degree leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident resulting in death and third-degree endangering an injured victim.

He was also served with multiple motor vehicle summonses.

Cuevasmetemi was remanded to the Bergen County Jail pending a first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack, officials say. 

Prosecutor Musella states that the charges are merely accusations and that the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

He would also like to thank the Carlstadt Police Department and the Bergen County Sheriff’s Department for their assistance in this investigation.