Lodi NJ Teacher Faces DWI Charges After Allegedly Crashing into Patrol Vehicle, Seriously Injuring Police Officer
A Lodi NJ high school teacher was charged with drunk driving after allegedly crashing his vehicle into a Bergen County police officer.
The suspect is reportedly a math teacher and track coach at Lodi High School in Lodi, New Jersey. According to police, the crash occurred on Route 46.
The 39-year-old victim, a patrol officer, pulled over his police cruiser on the shoulder of Route 46 westbound. The victim stopped his vehicle in order to assist another patrol officer with a broken radio.
The suspect allegedly drifted onto the shoulder of the highway and slammed his car into the back of the victim’s patrol vehicle.
After the accident, the suspect allegedly fled the scene. Police believe that the suspect was highly intoxicated at the time of the crash.
According to authorities, the accident left the police officer with a traumatic brain injury. He was listed in critical condition and required a hospital stay lasting nearly four months after accident. The officer’s injuries included a fractured skull and multiple broken ribs. Although the victim was released from the hospital in August, he is still undergoing intensive physical therapy.
Police eventually tracked down the suspect and placed him under arrest. The suspect has been charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI), leaving the scene of an accident, and aggravated assault.
According to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC), the suspect has a prior conviction for driving under the influence.
The suspect was indicted by a Morris County grand jury in August. Shortly after the indictment, the suspect was suspended without pay from his job at Lodi High School.
The suspect pleaded not guilty to all of the charges in October. He is currently free on $150,000 bail.
Bergen County prosecutors offered the suspect a plea deal in November. The plea agreement would require the suspect to be sentenced to 7 years in New Jersey State Prison.
For more information about this case, read the NJ.com article entitled “Teacher Charged with Seriously Injuring Bergen County Cop Due in Court.”