Union County Prosecutor’s Office

32 Rahway Avenue Elizabeth, NJ 07202
Theodore J. Romankow
Prosecutor

Contact:
John Holl
(908) 527-4621
jholl@ucnj.org

For Immediate Release
June 20, 2012

Additional Charges in Fatal Westfield Accident


Two motorists who were involved in a fatal accident last January in Westfield were served with additional charges earlier today, announced Union County First Assistant Prosecutor Albert Cernadas, Jr.

According to the investigation, around 6:05 p.m. On January 26, a car driven by Patricia Currie, 68, of Scotch Plains was passing through the intersection of North Avenue at Tuttle Parkway when it appears she grazed a pedestrian as he crossed the street, said Cernadas. Currie immediately stopped and offered assistance to the man, attempting leading him across the street. Witnesses reported that as the two walked across the road, a Chevy Cavalier, driven by Charles Casiere, (DOB: 9/9/27), of Westfield, struck the pair causing injuries and propelling them several yards down North Avenue.

Almost immediately after, a second vehicle driven by John Diaz, (DOB: 3/12/38),  of Westfield, struck Currie, who was now in the roadway, said Cernadas. That vehicle, a GMC pickup, struck Currie causing further injury.

Currie was taken to a local hospital and pronounced dead a short time later. The male pedestrian was transported to University Hospital in Newark for treatment.

Perviously, Casiere, who stopped at the scene, was charged with Driving While Intoxicated, Failure to Yield to a Pedestrian in a Crosswalk, and Reckless Driving. Diaz was charged with Driving While Intoxicated, Failure to Yield to a Pedestrian in a Crosswalk, Failure to Report an Accident and Reckless Driving.

Today, Casiere was charged with 2nd degree Vehicular Homicide and Assault by Auto.  Union County Superior Court Judge Scott J. Moynihan set Casiere’s bail at $50,000 with a condition of bail that he have interlock on any car he drives.  Diaz was charged with 2nd degree Leaving the Scene of a Fatal Accident.  Judge Moynihan set his bail at $25,000 with a condition of bail that he have interlock on any car he drives.

Both men surrendered to the Westfield police station earlier today and posted bail.

These criminal charges are mere accusations.  The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.