Police recently arrested a Closter New Jersey woman who was allegedly behind the wheel of a Lexus RX 350 that struck a Leonia school crossing guard and then left the scene of the accident.
According to law enforcement, the 49-year-old suspect was driving the SUV not long after Anna C. Scott Elementary School had been released for the day when the crossing guard stopped the vehicle.
Witnesses said that the suspect was attempting to make a left turn at the intersection of Broad Street and Fort Lee Road in Leonia, NJ. This was the same intersection where a Fort Lee NJ woman was fatally struck in 2014. Since there were reportedly children in the crosswalk at the time of the most recent incident, the crossing guard halted the suspect’s vehicle.
The suspect then got into a verbal dispute with the crossing guard. The argument reportedly escalated, resulting in the suspect allegedly hitting the victim with her vehicle. As a result of the contact, the victim fell to the ground.
According to officials, the suspect then drove away and fled the scene. A short time later, the victim called local police to file a complaint about the crossing guard. Although police told the suspect to go back to the school, she allegedly ignored their requests to return to the scene of the accident. The suspect also allegedly ignored multiple phone calls and text messages from Leonia police in the following days.
The suspect eventually turned herself in to Leonia NJ police. She was placed under arrest at the Leonia Borough Police Department.
The suspect has been charged with assault by auto and hindering apprehension. The suspect has also been issued a number of citations for traffic violations.
If the suspect is convicted on the assault by auto charges, she faces significant penalties. As set forth by N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(c), anyone who drives a vehicle recklessly and causes serious bodily injury to another person may be charged with a fourth degree felony. A conviction for fourth degree assault by auto could lead to a sentence of up to 18 months in NJ State Prison.
After being arrested and charged, the suspect was transported to the Bergen County Jail in Hackensack, New Jersey. She was being held at the facility in lieu of $2,500 bail.
The victim sustained an elbow injury as a result of the accident. On the bright side, the victim was able to return to work as a crossing guard a few days after the incident. He has been serving as a crossing guard in Leonia since 2003.
For further information about this case, view the NJ.com article entitled “Closter Woman Driving SUV Strikes Leonia Crossing Guard, Police Say.”