New Charges Filed Against Westfield Men Involved in Fatal Accident
Charles Casiere, 84, was charged today with vehicular homicide and assault by auto, while John Diaz, 74, was charged with second degree leaving the scene of an accident.
Charles Casiere, 84, and John Diaz, 74, both of Westfield, were served with additional charges earlier today in connection with the fatal accident that took the life of Patricia Currie, 68, of Scotch Plains, in late January, announced Union County First Assistant Prosecutor Albert Cernadas, Jr.
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 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 charged with second degree leaving the scene of an accident.
According to the investigation, around 6:05 p.m. on January 25, a car driven by Currie was passing through the intersection of North Avenue at Tuttle Parkway when it appears she grazed a pedestrian as he crossed the street, said Cernadas. 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 Casiere struck the pair causing injuries and propelling them several yards down North Avenue.
Almost immediately after, a second vehicle, a GMC pickup, driven by Diaz struck Currie, who was now in the roadway, said Cernadas, causing further injury.
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.
Union County Superior Court Judge Scott J. Moynihan set Casiere's bail at $50,000 with a condition of bail that he have interlock, a car breathalyzer, on any car he drives. Judge Moynihan set Diaz's bail at $25,000 with a condition of bail that he have interlock on any car he drives as well.
Both men surrendered to the Westfield Police Station earlier today and posted bail.
These criminal charges are mere accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.