Prosecutor: Bergen County driver charged in fatal North Bergen collision


A Bergen County driver has been charged with a North Bergen collision on Sunday that led to 66-year-old man dying as a result of the injuries he sustained, Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez announced.

Photo via Google Maps.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Shortly after 4:00 a.m. on Sunday, a fatal motor vehicle collision occurred at the intersection of John F. Kennedy Boulevard and 76th Street in North Bergen, Suarez said in a statement.

The collision was observed by a nearby North Bergen police officer who was on patrol in the area.

After reporting the collision, the officer responded to the scene and immediately began rendering aid to the two drivers who were both trapped in their vehicles, authorities said.

There were no other occupants of either vehicle.

Additionally, North Bergen police, North Hudson Regional Fire & Rescue, and Emergency
Medical Services responded to the scene to render aid and assist with traffic control.

The initial investigation by the Hudson County Regional Collision Investigation Unit and
North Bergen police revealed that a 2018 Nissan Pathfinder driven by Denisse Ortega, 34, of New Milford, was traveling north on John F. Kennedy Boulevard when she collided with a 2012 Nissan Altima driven westbound on 76th Street by Mario Santamaria, Sr.

It was determined that Ortega failed to obey multiple traffic signals while traveling on John F. Kennedy Boulevard, police said.

Santamaria, 66, of North Bergen, was transported by EMS to Jersey City Medical Center  and he was pronounced dead at approximately 5:15 a.m.

Ortega was treated at the scene before being transported by EMS to Palisades Medical Center. She was subsequently transferred to Hackensack University Medical Center where she is currently being treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Furthermore, one of the North Bergen police officers who responded to the scene was injured while rendering aid to one of the drivers.

After receiving aid at the scene, the officer was transported by EMS to Palisades Medical Center where he received additional medical treatment.

An arrest warrant for Ortega has been issued charging her with one count of death by auto, a second-degree crime, and additional charges and summonses may be pending.

Suarez credited the Regional Collision Investigation Unit and the North Bergen Police Department with the investigation.

The Hudson County Regional Collision Investigation Unit is actively investigating this case with assistance from the North Bergen Police Department.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office at 201-915-1345 or to leave an anonymous
tip at:

All information will be kept confidential.

Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /home/hcvcp/public_html/wp-content/themes/Hudson County View/includes/wp_booster/td_block.php on line 353