Elizabeth Man Charged With Vehicular Homicide, DWI After Fatal Collision With FDNY Firefighter


A uniformed New York City firefighter riding his motorcycle to work was fatally struck by an apparent drunk driver in Union Township early Friday. John Monteverde, 56, of Whitestone, Queens was heading from Pennsylvania, where he also had a home, to work at Engine 159 on Staten Island when he was struck and killed by a Honda Accord.

ELIZABETH — An Elizabeth man has been charged with second-degree vehicular homicide, driving while intoxicated, and other offenses in connection with an accident that killed a New York City firefighter Friday morning, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced.

John W. Monteverde, a Queens resident and 56-year-old FDNY veteran with more than three decades of service, was pronounced dead at the scene of the wreck allegedly caused by Anthony J. Marsal, 24, of Elizabeth.

It was around 5:15 a.m. Friday when Union Township police responded to a report of an accident in the area of North Avenue and Vivian Terrace, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Michael Henn. 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, striking the 2004 Suzuki motorcycle being driven by Monteverde, Henn said.

Monteverde was wearing a reflective vest at the time of the accident. 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.

“We all were extremely saddened to learn that a senseless accident claimed the life of one of New York City’s bravest this morning,” Park said. “We extend our deepest sympathies to the family of Mr. Monteverde and the entire FDNY community.”

Witnesses to this crash are being asked to call the Union Police Department Traffic Bureau at 908-851-5070.

The charges against Marsal are merely accusations; he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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