Prosecutor: Charges upgraded for Newark man who caused fatal Kearny crash while drunk

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A Newark man accused of causing a fatal crash in Kearny while he was intoxicated is now facing upgraded charges that include first-degree aggravated manslaughter and death by auto, Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez announced.

Inset photo: William Frazier, courtesy of the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office. Background photo via Google Maps.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Charges against the driver in a fatal collision in Kearny from March that killed a 26-year-old
Newark man have been upgraded to include first-degree aggravated manslaughter and death by auto after the investigation determined the driver was operating above the posted speed limit, had a Blood Alcohol Content level above the legal limit, and failed to maintain his lane, Suarez said in a statement.

The driver, William Frazier, 53, of Newark, has been additionally charged with aggravated
manslaughter, death by auto, and two counts of assault by auto.

Frazier was arrested on the new charges on today at the Hudson County
Correctional Center, where he remains detained pending trial.

At the time of the crash, Frazier was arrested and charged with causing a death while driving with a suspended license, a third-degree crime, as well as driving while intoxicated – a motor vehicle violation.

On Friday, March 13th, at approximately 6:30 p.m., members of the Kearny Police
Department responded to the area of 1806 Harrison Ave. on reports of a collision.

Upon arrival, responding officers found a multi-vehicle collision involving multiple injured
individuals.

The initial investigation by the Hudson County Regional Collision Investigation Unit and the Kearny Police Department determined that a 2017 Nissan Altima traveling west on Harrison Avenue struck an eastbound 2018 Kia Soul causing the vehicle to veer into westbound lanes where it was struck by a 2009 Freightliner truck (cab only).

Vance Caswell, 26 of Newark, who was a passenger in the Kia, was transported by
Emergency Medical Services to St. Michael’s Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at approximately 7:40 p.m.

The drivers of both the Kia and the Freightliner sustained non-life threatening injuries.

They were transported by EMS to University Hospital where they were treated and later released.

Suarez credited the Hudson County Regional Collision Investigation Unit and the
Kearny Police Department with the investigation and the arrest.