Investigation Underway after Driver Strikes Bicyclist in Paramus
Law enforcement officials are currently searching for a driver who struck a bicyclist with a large SUV in Paramus recently. The driver, who remains at large after fleeing the scene, could be facing criminal charges for assault by auto, as well as “knowingly leaving the scene of an accident resulting in serious bodily injury,” if he or she is ultimately identified and apprehended.
According to Chief Kenneth Ehrenberg of the Paramus Police Department, 50-year-old Fort Lee resident Tomo Shiod was struck by an SUV while riding her bicycle on Paramus Road at approximately 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 3rd. The victim, who was not wearing a helmet at the time, reportedly sustained a serious head injury as a result.
Although the driver of the SUV allegedly slowed down after the incident, he or she subsequently fled and has yet to be identified by police. Per reports, the SUV involved was full-sized and light in color (potentially white or off-white), with a round emblem.
Police say that the vehicle is likely to have sustained damage to the front and passenger side. They have asked that any and all information related to the incident be forwarded to the Paramus Police Department at (201) 262-3400 ext. 553.
If a suspect in this case is eventually taken into custody, he or she could be facing serious criminal charges, including assault by auto and knowingly leaving the scene of an accident resulting in serious bodily injury. In New Jersey, knowingly leaving the scene of an accident resulting in serious bodily injury is considered a third degree criminal offense, governed under N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1.1.
This statute mandates significant penalties for those convicted, containing provisions that are only applicable to these specific offenses. For instance, typical third-degree crimes entail a presumption of non-incarceration, which means that a defendant with no prior criminal record may not be subject to the 3 to 5-year prison sentence associated with third degree crimes.
Notably, a presumption of non-incarceration does not apply to those convicted of a violation under N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1.1. As a result, the driver of the SUV involved in this case may be subject to a prison sentence if police identify and charge him or her with knowingly leaving the scene of an accident resulting in serious bodily injury.
For more information pertaining to this case, access the following article: Police seek driver in hit-and-run that seriously injured Fort Lee woman