A man has been charged in the fatal July crash that claimed the life of Police Officer Morton Otundo, who was riding his motorcycle while off-duty, Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez announced.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Rafael Rodriguez-Rivera, 30, of Jersey City, has been charged with one count of causing death while driving unlicensed, a third-degree crime, Suarez said in a statement.
He surrendered himself to detectives with the Hudson County Regional Collision Investigation Unit in Jersey City at 10:30 a.m. this morning.
He was released on a summons and is scheduled to appear in court on February 8th.
On Friday, July 16, 2021, shortly before 2:00 a.m., members of the Jersey City Police
Department responded to the intersection of Communipaw Avenue and Woodward Street on a report of a motor vehicle collision with injuries.
Upon arrival, responding officers found a motorcyclist with serious injuries. The operator of the motorcycle, later identified as Morton Otundo, 40, of Jersey City, was treated at the scene before being transported by Emergency Medical Services to Jersey City Medical Center.
He was pronounced dead at approximately 2:30 a.m.
The initial investigation revealed that Otundo was operating a Yamaha motorcycle and was
traveling east on Communipaw Avenue when he collided with a 2012 Ford Escape, operated by Rodriguez-Rivera, as the vehicle was traveling west and attempting to make a left turn onto Woodward Street.
The investigation found that Rodriguez-Rivera did not have a valid New Jersey driver’s license, authorities said.