Prosecutor: County corrections officer charged in North Bergen hit-and-run

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A Hudson County corrections officer has been charged multiple crimes in connection to a fatal hit-and-run accident in North Bergen last night, Prosecutor Esther Suarez announced.

Michael Hansen. Facebook photo.
Michael Hansen. Facebook photo.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Michael Hansen, 38, of North Bergen, two counts of leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in death, and resisting arrest, Suarez said in a statement.

Yesterday at approximately 8:05 p.m., the North Bergen Police Department received a report of a pedestrian struck near the intersection of Paterson Plank Road and John F. Kennedy Boulevard, authorities said.

Upon arrival, North Bergen police discovered a male and a female victim.

The victims have been identified as Russell Maffei, 57, and Marie Tauro, 80, both of Jersey City. They were transported to the Jersey City Medical Center by EMS where they were pronounced dead shortly before 10:40 p.m., officials said.

During the preliminary investigation, it was discovered that the vehicle involved with the crash had fled the scene. The vehicle suspected in the crash was subsequently located in North Bergen, police said.

The owner of the vehicle, Hansen, was arrested by members of the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office and North Bergen Police Department shortly before 4 a.m. during the execution of a search warrant at a residence on 54th Street in North Bergen.

Hansen, who is a Hudson County Corrections Officer, was staying at that location with family members.

The Hudson County Sheriff’s Office is leading the investigation with assistance by the North Bergen Police Department.

“I would like to credit the cooperative effort of the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office, the North Bergen Police Department and the Office of the Hudson County Prosecutor for helping make a quick arrest of the suspect in this tragic crash,” Schillari said in a statement.

The investigation which is active and ongoing and anyone with information about the crash is asked to contact the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office Crash Investigation Unit at 201-915-1300, ext. 7050. All information will be kept confidential.

Maffei and Tauro were known members of the Republican party in Hudson County, with Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno and Gov. Christie offering their condolences in the matter.

“Mary Pat and I were deeply saddened and disturbed to learn the tragic deaths of Russell Maffei and Marie Tauro in what police are reporting to be a hit-and-run incident in North Bergen last night,” Christie said in a statement.

“More than just a long-time Republican colleague, Russ was a dear friend who I had known for many years and who I could always rely upon.”

“As the full details of this tragedy unfold, Mary Pat and I want the families and friends of both Russ and Marie to know that we will do all we can to make sure that just is done. The victims and their loved ones are in our thoughts and prayers,” he continued.