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 thethat took the life of , 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 earlier today and posted bail. 

These criminal charges are mere accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Frank Esq June 24, 2012 at 03:19 AM
A. John Blake: as much as you may like to think so, you are not an expert on every matter that you comment on on this site. It is the job of the Prosecutor's Office to examine the facts in the case and make the decision whether or not to press charges. I am sure you are not the first one to look at anomalies in the case and obviously the Patch does not have access to all the details, especially at this point in the investigation. If the prosecutor did not think the gentlemen committed the crimes they were charged with and did not believe there is evidence to prove them guilty, then they would not have been charged in the first place. If the men are innocent, then they will be proven so at trial (assuming they plead not guilty).
A.John Blake June 24, 2012 at 10:12 AM
To Frank Esq. I have no doubt there is evidence that these men committed offenses but there is a big difference between that and proof " beyond a reasonable doubt". The cause of the original accident between Ms. Currie and Mr.Kervik has never been explained nor has the problem created by their attempt to reach the far side of North Ave. Also Mr. Diaz is not charged with Ms.Currie's death. What facts lead one to believe he was not a cause? Why is he charged with leaving the scene when he was still there when the police arrived? John Blake
faith June 24, 2012 at 03:38 PM
i feel so sad for the currie family......
Wally Westfield June 24, 2012 at 08:09 PM
AJB, While I usually enjoy and agree with your posts from your laptop @ 16 Prospect, I must say this one disappoints. Mr Kervick was excercising by taking a walk around Roosevelt Middle School and was crossing North Ave on his way back to his residence on the south side of town when he and Ms Currie had their unfortunate encounter. Ms Currie was being a good samaritan and aiding Mr Kervick in his journey back to his residence. Shame on you for implying anything else.
A.John Blake June 25, 2012 at 09:53 AM
To Wally Westfield, I have no doubt that Mr.Kervick was crossing North Ave when struck by Ms Currie. The question is "why did she strike Kervick". She cannot explain and he has not made any public statement and, in truth, may not remember. One of the things the investigators will do is to check the blood tests on all the parties. It will be interesting to learn the results. A desire to obtain facts is reasonable and no shame is attached to the search. I also thought Mr. Diaz stopped at the scene and was given permission to leave. His Identity was known to the police immediately. If he struck Ms.Currie, why was he charged with only "leaving the scene"? It was perfectly proper for Ms.Currie to help Mr.Kervick but the nagging question is why they did not seek the safety of the closest sidewalk. Mr.Kervick must have been hurt to need assistance. Why try to get to the far side of the street. These are all questions which must be answered in a trial, I see nothing "shameful" in asking them here.There had to be a reason for the original accident. It has never been explained.If Diaz stopped and was told he could leave, then why is he charged as he is? John Blake


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