Prosecutor: Charges upgraded to death by auto in fatal North Bergen hit-and-run


Charges have been upgraded to death by auto in a case against a Hudson County corrections officer who killed two well-known local Republican officials in a North Bergen hit-and-run, Prosecutor Esther Suarez announced.

Michael Hansen. Facebook photo.
Michael Hansen. Facebook photo.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Michael Hansen, 38, of North Bergen, had his charges upgraded to two counts of death by auto, driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, failure to report a motor vehicle accident and leaving the scene of an accident, Suarez said in a statement.

On Sunday, April 2, 2017, at approximately 8:05 p.m., the North Bergen Police Department received a report of a pedestrian struck near the intersection of Paterson Plank Road and John F. Kennedy Boulevard, authorities said.

Upon arrival, police found two victims, Russell Maffei, 57, and Marie Tauro, 80, both of Jersey City. Maffei and Tauro were transported by Medical Services to Jersey City Medical Center where they were pronounced dead shortly before 10:40 p.m., officials said.

The vehicle suspected in the crash fled the scene and was subsequently located in North Bergen. Hansen, who was identified as the owner of the suspected vehicle, was arrested shortly before 4 a.m. during the execution of a search warrant at a North Bergen home, police said.

Hansen, who is a Hudson County Corrections Officer, was staying at the residence with family members.

He was initially charged with two counts of leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in death and resisting arrest.

The Prosecutor’s Homicide Unit continues to actively investigate this case.

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

All information will be kept confidential.

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