According to authorities, a man believed to have been driving a black Ford Econoline allegedly killed a 77-year-old woman from Nutley after he struck her with his vehicle and fled the scene. The incident occurred around noon on Nov. 15 when the victim was crossing Centre Street at Ravine Avenue; she was found in the street and pronounced dead the same day at University Hospital in Newark.
The Essex County Prosecutor's Office initially posted a reward of $5,000 for any information that would lead to an arrest in the case. Essex County Police later located the man believed to be responsible for the fatality and is not yet releasing his identity. Police say he is being cooperative and that the investigation remains active and ongoing.
While no official charges have been made against the driver, in a case such as this where a hit-and-run occurs, police might try to determine what factors lead to the suspect initially hitting the pedestrian, such as failure to yield or distracted driving. For example, if police determine that the suspect was texting while driving near the same time the accident happened, it may be probable that he would be held accountable for a wrongful death that could have been avoided had he been paying attention.
The family members of the victim may wish to hire an attorney to further assist in the investigation. Often an attorney will use information from completed police reports as well as eyewitness accounts to build a case that would hold any at-fault parties responsible. If an attorney can establish that negligence was a factor in the accident, the driver may be held responsible for the victim's death and may be required to help cover medical bills.
Source: South Orange Patch , "Essex Police Locate Suspect Involved in Hit and Run Death of Nutley Woman", Emily Everson, December 03, 2014