Elizabeth man indicted for drug-, alcohol-fueled wreck that claimed life of FDNY firefighter

A Union County grand jury has returned an indictment against an Elizabeth man charged with causing a crash that took the life of a veteran FDNY firefighter last fall, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Wednesday.

Anthony Marsal, 24, is charged with second-degree vehicular homicide, driving while intoxicated, and related traffic offenses in connection with the wreck that killed John W. Monteverde, 57, of Queens.

It was around 5:15 a.m. on Friday, October 11, 2013 when Union Township police responded to a report of an accident in the area of North Avenue and Vivian Terrace. A joint investigation by the Union County Prosecutor’s Office and the Union Township Police Department determined that Marsal, who was driving a white 1996 Honda Accord, made a left turn off of Vivian Terrace onto North Avenue, cutting off the 2004 Suzuki motorcycle being driven by Monteverde.

Monteverde, a FDNY veteran with more than three decades of service, was thrown from his vehicle and died of multiple internal and external injuries; he had been on his way to his firehouse on Staten Island at the time of the crash, which occurred despite the fact that he was wearing a bright-colored reflective vest. Officers reportedly detected the odor of alcohol on Marsal’s breath and noted that his eyes were bloodshot; he was subsequently arrested, with bail set at $100,000 with no cash option by state Superior Court Judge Thomas J. Walsh.

Toxicology tests later revealed that Marsal’s blood-alcohol level was nearly triple the legal limit shortly after he was arrested. The tests also produced evidence that Marsal had ingested cocaine in the hours leading up to the crash.

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