Police: ‘Serious’ North Bergen hit-and-run results in pedestrian fatality


An early morning North Bergen hit-and-run incident has resulted in the death of a 27-year-old Maryland man, police said.

Photo courtesy of the North Bergen Police Department.
Photo courtesy of the North Bergen Police Department.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

At approximately 12:06 am on Sunday, the North Bergen Police Department and the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office Crash Investigation Unit responded to the 1400 block of Tonnelle Avenue on a report of a pedestrian struck, according to township spokesman JP Escobar.

Arriving North Bergen police found a man laying in the driveway of the Seville Motel, badly injured and unconscious. North Bergen EMS arrived and were able to resuscitate the victim, officials said.

He was then transported to the Jersey City Medical Center where he remained in critical condition until 6:31 pm, when he died as a result of his injuries. The victim was identified as Ruperto Chavarria Palma, 27, of Maryland, authorities said.

Palma appeared to be crossing the highway when he was struck by a vehicle traveling south on Tonnelle Avenue at the 14th Street intersection. The vehicle that struck Palma did not stop and fled the scene, officials said.

Crash investigators analyzed parts of the vehicle found at the scene and also reviewed surveillance video from nearby businesses and determined that a large black SUV, possibly a 2005-2007 Toyota Sequoia, may have been the striking vehicle.

Anyone that has information regarding this fatal hit and run accident should contact the North Bergen Police Department at 201-392-2100 or the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office Crash Investigation Unit at 201-915-1300. All calls will be kept confidential.

On Sunday, Hudson County View reported that authorities were seeking the public’s help in identifying the driver responsible for this incident.

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