Police say reckless driving led to the crash, and authorities are investigating if drag racing was involved.
The accident happened on Kennedy Boulevard, one of Jersey City's main thoroughfares, at St. Paul's Avenue just before 11 p.m.
It appears a pair of brothers may be responsible. Police say two vehicles collided while driving at a high rate of speed. When they collided, one car veered off and slammed into a third car.
The two pedestrians apparently could not avoid the cars and were struck. Police say one of the victims, who remains unidentified, had his leg impaled on a fence outside a school. He also suffered intense head trauma. After an extended extrication of the pedestrian from the fence, the person was pronounced dead.He is described as a Hindu male, approximately 25 to 30 years old. He had no ID on him.
The second pedestrian, identified as Rodrigo Ramirez, was struck by the car and knocked to the ground. Ramirez was rushed to Jersey City Medical Center, where he was treated and released.
The cause of the accident is still under investigation, but police say 19-year-old Giancarlo Guevara-Cabezas was driving the car that hit the pedestrians. He was following his brother, 24-year-old Carlos Guevara-Cabezas, at the time of the crash. Jason Vermillo, 30, was driving the third vehicle involved. Vermillo was treated and released for minor cuts.
A witness told police he saw the two vehicles driven by the brothers traveling fast in the left lane as they passed Route 139. He says one car was attempting to pass the other when the two cars collided, causing Carlos' car to spin out and strike Vermillo's vehicle in the oncoming lanes. The witness said Giancarlo then struck Carlos' car, swerved to the right, mounted the sidewalk and struck the pedestrians.
Both brothers, however, claim a fourth vehicle was responsible for the crash. They reportedly told police that Giancarlo was following Carlos when a black car crashed into Carlos from the rear. That forced Carlos to veer to the left and the black car to swerve right. They say that car then struck Giancarlo's car and forced him onto the sidewalk. The brothers say that car then fled the scene.
Giancarlo suffered minor lacerations and was treated and released. Carlos suffered fractures to both legs. Giancarlo Guevara-Cabezas was issued summonses for speeding, reckless driving and unsafe lane change. Carlos was issued summonses for speeding and careless driving.