WESTFIELD — Two motorists who were involved in a fatal accident in late January were served with additional charges earlier today, Union County First Assistant Prosecutor Albert Cernadas, Jr. announced.
Patricia Currie, 68, of Scotch Plains was killed on Jan. 26 after she was struck by a pair of vehicles driven by Westfield residents Charles Casiere, 84, and John Diaz, 80, according to investigators. Authorities believe that Currie grazed a pedestrian who was crossing the street at the intersection of North Avenue and Tuttle Parkway at approximately 6 p.m. She stopped to offer assistance, and was leading him across the street when witnesses report that a Chevy Cavalier driven by Casiere struck the pair causing injuries and propelling them several yards down North Avenue.
Almost immediately after, a GMC pickup driven by Diaz struck Currie, who was now in the roadway, said Cernadas. 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.
Casiere, who stopped at the scene, was previously charged with driving while intoxicated, failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, and reckless driving. Today, he was charged with second degree vehicular homicide and assault by auto.
Diaz was previously charged with driving while intoxicated, failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, failure to report an accident and reckless driving. Today, he was also charged with second degree leaving the scene of a fatal accident.
Union County Superior Court Judge Scott J. Moynihan set Casiere’s bail at $50,000 with a condition of bail that he have an interlock on any car he drives. Judge Moynihan set his bail at $25,000 with a condition of bail that he have an interlock on any car he drives.
Both men surrendered to the Westfield police station earlier today and posted bail.
These criminal charges are merely accusations. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.