Bayonne man pleads guilty to leaving the scene of a fatal accident from 13 months ago

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A Bayonne man pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of a fatal accident 13 months ago that caused the death of a 50-year-old man, authorities said.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Yesterday, James Nichols, 51, of Bayonne, pleaded guilty to one count of second degree leaving the scene of an accident resulting in the death of John Hagans which occurred on September 10th, 2020, Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez said in a statement.

On this date, members of the Bayonne Police Department responded to Avenue C and the area of 25th Street at approximately 10:20 p.m. on reports of a pedestrian struck with life-threatening injuries.

The victim was identified as Hagans, age 50, of Jersey City. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 10:41 p.m.

The investigation by the Hudson County Regional Collision Investigation Unit and the Bayonne Police Department found that the victim was attempting to cross Avenue C when he was struck by a dark-colored vehicle that was traveling southbound and the driver fled the scene.

The investigation revealed that Nichols was driving a Ford F-150 at a high rate of speed when he hit Hagans in the area of Avenue C and 25th Street in Bayonne.

He was later arrested and charged by members of the Hudson County Regional Collision Investigation Unit.

Pursuant to the plea agreement, the state will recommend a sentence of five years in New Jersey State Prison and a consecutive two year driver license suspension.

Sentencing in this case has been scheduled for December 17th before Hudson County Superior Court Judge John A. Young, Jr., who accepted the guilty plea yesterday.

The state is represented in this case by Assistant Prosecutor Andrew Baginski of the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide Unit.