Kearny man, 39, found guilty of leaving the scene of an accident that killed 12-year-old boy


A 39-year-old Kearny man has been found guilty of leaving the scene of an accident that killed a 12-year-old boy, Union County Prosecutor William A. Daniel and Union Police Director Daniel Zieser jointly announced.

Jeremy Maraj. Photo via GoFundMe.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Jose Marrero, 39, of Kearny was found guilty Friday on one count of knowingly leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death, a second-degree crime, following a week-long trial before Union County Superior Court Judge Robert Kirsch.

The jury deliberated for less than an hour before returning its verdict.

Just before 8 p.m. on July 17th, 2019, Union Police Department patrol units responded to a report of a pedestrian being struck by a vehicle in the area of Forest Drive and Galloping Hill Road, according to Assistant Prosecutors Scott Peterson and James Brady who prosecuted the case.

There, they found an unresponsive 12-year old child, Jeremy Maraj of Union, who was rushed to University Hospital in Newark. He succumbed to his injuries two days later.

At trial, the State revealed that, at the time of the accident, Marrero was driving his work vehicle, a 2016 Nissan NV200 Cargo Van, when he struck Maraj on the shoulder of Galloping Hill Road.

Witnesses to the accident testified that Marrero didn’t stop and fled the scene. Video surveillance obtained from the area and parts from the van recovered at the scene ultimately led detectives to Marrero, Peterson and Brady said.

Sentencing has been scheduled for Friday, June 10th before Judge Kirsch, at which time Marrero can face a sentence of up to ten years in state prison.

NJ 101.5 had previously reported that Marrero thought he hit a deer due to the extensive damage to his vehicle.

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