Girl, 10, killed in high speed crash

October 17, 2008 9:18:36 PM PDT
Authorities say a stolen car fleeing from police in New Milford smashed into a sedan, tearing it in half and killing a 10-year-old girl who was riding in the back seat.Two 14-year-olds in the Honda sedan were injured, one critically, in the crash shortly after 5 p.m. Thursday.

Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli said the driver of the stolen Mercedes was taken to Hackensack University Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.

He was identified as 22-year-old Harold Saenz, of Bergenfield.

Molinelli said the Mercedes was stolen from a home in Bergenfield when the owner left his keys in it while stopping home to retrieve keys to another car. The owner saw the car being driven away and chased it in another vehicle while calling police.

Units from Bergenfield, Tenafly and Cresskill joined the pursuit. Prosecutors said the pursuit had ended before the accident.

Officials identified the victim as 10-year-old Miriam Avraham. She was seated in the back seat behind the front passenger of the Honda Accord being driven by her mother, 46-year-old Helene Avraham. Her cause of death was determined to be multiple blunt force injuries. Helene Avraham suffered minor injuries and was released Thursday evening from the Hackensack University Medical Center.

The front seat passenger was identified as 14-year-old Shachar Avraham, who was also treated and released Thursday. The back seat passenger, a 14-year-old male friend of the Avraham family, whose name is not being released at this time, remains in critical condition with internal injuries at the Hackensack University Medical Center.

Saenz suffered a fractured femur bone and sinus fractures and remains in police custody at the hospital. It is expected that he will be medically released from the hospital this weekend and thereafter remanded to the Bergen County Jail, where his bail is currently set at $1 million cash.

He is facing charges of first-degree murder, second-degree aggravated assault, third-degree theft and third-degree burglary.

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WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King

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