Union County Crime Stoppers and friends of the victim of a fatal motorcycle accident that took place in Union Township earlier this month are jointly offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and indictment of another driver who was involved, authorities announced this week.
The other driver is wanted for leaving the scene of the accident that resulted in the death of Carlos Gonzalez Ospina, 30, according to Union Township Police Lt. Robert J. Christie, who is investigating the case.
The accident occurred on North Avenue near the ENR-G gas station just before 10 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 15. Seconds earlier, according to video footage recently released by the Union Township Police Department and the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, a light-colored, four-door sedan was seen leaving the gas station after making a cash fuel purchase – the driver, visible in the video wearing light-colored slacks or possibly medical scrubs and a bright-colored shirt or top, pulled out of the station and directly into the path of the motorcyclist.
Gonzalez Ospina appeared to swerve in an attempt to avoid the vehicle, but lost control and crashed, Christie said. A blaze of sparks can be seen in the video as the motorcycle slides down the roadway for approximately 300 feet, narrowly missing the rear of the vehicle that had just exited the gas station.
The suspect remained at the scene briefly, as the driver is believed to have run back to the motorcyclist before returning to his or her vehicle and fleeing the area, Christie said.
Gonzalez Ospina, a Washington State resident who previously lived in Union County, was pronounced dead at the scene, just blocks away from his family’s home in Elizabeth. He left behind a 7-year-old son, Christie said.
Union County Crime Stoppers stepped forward to offer a cash reward of up to $5,000, and friends of Gonzalez Ospina offered to match that sum, Christie added.
Callers may remain anonymous and are eligible to receive a cash reward if the information given leads to an arrest or grand jury indictment. Callers may report their tips directly to Crime Stoppers at 908-654-TIPS (8477), via the Crime Stoppers website (www.uctips.org), or via a text message (text UCTIP and your message to 274637, or CRIMES). Tipsters also may call the Union Township Police Department Traffic Bureau directly at 908-851-5070 to speak with investigators. Surveillance images of the vehicle involved in the accident are available online on the Union Township Police Department’s Facebook page athttps://www.facebook.com/unionpolicenj.
Officials also are urging the driver seen in the video to contact police voluntarily and cooperate with the investigation. The speed of the motorcycle played a role in this crash, and all factors will be taken into consideration before investigators proceed with a case, Christie said.