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UPDATE: NJ Man Sentenced for Fatal Hit-and-Run That Struck 14-Year-Old Boy

Middlesex County

By: Najla Alexander 

Authorities in Middlesex County announced that Michael Arena, 64, of South River, was sentenced in connection with a fatal crash that occurred on July 7, 2023.AdMiddlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone said on July 7, 2023, at 4:21 p.m., South River police responded to the intersection of Whitehead Avenue and Russell Avenue following the report of a crash.

Officials stated that upon their arrival, authorities located the victim, a 14-year-old boy, who was struck by a white work van while riding his bicycle.

According to officials, the white work van fled the scene of the crash.

The victim was transported to the hospital, where he ultimately succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased, officials said.

Authorities say an investigation led by Sergeant John Kenney of the South River Police Department and Sergeant Jonathan Berman of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office identified Michael Arena, 63, of South River, as the perpetrator.

Officials say on July 7, 2023, Arena was transported from his residence to the South River Police Department for questioning, where he admitted to driving the vehicle at the time of the crash.

Accoridng to officials, Arena was arrested and charged with Leaving the Scene of a Fatal Motor Vehicle Crash and other related offenses.

AdOfficials said on December 8, 2023, Arena pled guilty to second-degree Knowingly Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Crash, Resulting in Death and second-degree Vehicular Homicide.

Arena was subsequently sentenced on April 10, 2024, by Superior Court Judge Sheree Pitchford, J.S.C., to 10 years in New Jersey State Prison for Leaving the Scene of a Fatal Motor Vehicle Crash consecutive to 5 years for Vehicular Homicide, officials stated. 

Officials say Arena must serve 85% of the 5-year sentence without parole. Arena’s aggregate sentence will be 15 years in prison, and 85% of 5 years of the term will be served without parole eligibility.AdUpon his release his driver’s license will be suspended for a year, authorities say.