Oct. 5, 2015
Man Sentenced to a Year in Jail for Hit and Run
Newark – Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that Jose Cruz, 59, of Newark was sentenced to a year in jail by the Honorable Bahir Kamil, Judge of the Superior Court, for a hit-and-run accident that resulted in a 56-year-old Bloomfield man having both his legs amputated.
The victim Robert Hiner, who was a cameraman for a major news organization for over 35 years, was struck while walking near Municipal Plaza and Franklin Street in Bloomfield on Jan. 5. Cruz, who was driving an unregistered commercial dump truck with no insurance, fled the scene.
Several days later Cruz was arrested and charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving an injured person – a third degree offense which carries a maximum penalty of one year incarceration, according to Assistant Prosecutor Eileen O’Connor, who handled the case.
Cruz pled guilty on June 18, admitting knowingly striking the pedestrian and fleeing the scene.
Hiner, who is still in a rehabilitation center, was not physically able to attend the sentencing but he sent the court a videotaped statement detailing how the accident had changed his life.
“This case underscores the importance of remaining at the scene of a motor vehicle accident no matter what the circumstances. Mr. Cruz had an obligation to contact the police, ’’ said Assistant Prosecutor O’Connor who commended the Bloomfield Police Department for doing an extensive investigation to locate the vehicle involved.