Man charged after fatal hit-and-run of 14-year-old boy riding bike in South River, NJ

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Saturday, July 8, 2023
Teen riding bike killed by hit-and-run driver in South River
A 14-year-old boy riding a bike was killed after being hit and run over by van that kept going in South River, New Jersey. Josh Einiger has the details.

SOUTH RIVER, New Jersey (WABC) -- A South River man has been arrested and charged in the deadly hit-and-run crash of a teenager on a bike, who was struck and run over by a van that kept going.

Michael Arena, 63, was arrested and charged in connection with the fatal hit-and-run.

The crash happened around 4:20 p.m. on Friday at the intersection of Whitehead Avenue and Russell Avenue in the tiny village of South River, Middlesex County.

Surveillance video captured the 14-year-old boy crossing the street on his bike as a white van swerved right behind him.

"To watch the vehicle not only hit the kid but go over the kid like it did, it kind of took your breath away," neighbor David Gudzak said.

It was Gudzak's security camera that captured it. He said the victim was clearly alive right in front of the van when the driver decided to hit the gas.

"I have a shot of the kid on his forearms, looking at the van right before it went over him," he said. "And every bit of my hair just stood right up on my arms. And once the van went over the way he was lying on the ground, there was no way in the world he survived."

First responders arrived in minutes, and neighbors watched in horror as they performed CPR on the boy.

"They were trying to revive him, and they couldn't," neighbor Marlene Santos said. "Since they couldn't, they decided to bring him to the hospital."

The victim was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Arena is being held at the Middlesex County Adult Correctional Center pending the results of a pre-trial detention hearing in Superior Court.

The investigation remains active and ongoing.


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