Two Drivers Involved In Fatal Westfield Accident Charged With DWI

WESTFIELD – Two drivers who were allegedly involved in a fatal accident last month that left a Scotch Plains woman dead and another man seriously injured have been charged with driving while intoxicated and reckless driving, authorities announced today.

The Union County Prosecutor’s Office and Westfield Police Department are continuing to investigate the Jan. 26 accident and additional charges may be filed, Union County Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow said.

According to police, around 6:05 p.m. a car driven by Patricia Currie, 68, was passing through the intersection of North Avenue at Tuttle Parkway in Westfield when it appears she grazed a pedestrian as he crossed the street, said Romankow.

Currie immediately stopped and offered assistance to the man, attempting to lead him across the street. Witnesses reported that as the two walked across the road, a Chevy Cavalier, driven by Charles Casiere, 84, of Westfield, struck the pair causing injuries and propelling them several yards down North Avenue. Casiere, who stopped at the scene, was charged with driving while intoxicated, failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, and reckless driving.

Almost immediately after, a second vehicle driven by John Diaz, 73, of Westfield, struck Currie, who was now in the roadway, said Romankow. Diaz was charged with driving while intoxicated, failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, failure to report an accident and reckless driving.

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.

The criminal charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in court.

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