Jian Wang of Brooklyn, N.Y. remained in a coma at Jersey City Medical Center last week after an alleged hit-and-run accident on 66th Street and Bergenline Avenue on Nov. 1.
The accident also injured his business partner, Bo Jiang, as the pair were walking away from the nail salon they own in the area.
At about 10:09 p.m. on Nov. 1, Jiang and Wang, the owners of N.T.M. Nail Salon, had just left their shop and were crossing Bergenline Avenue when they were struck by a 1990 beige Subaru Legacy heading southbound on the avenue.
“While the victims attempted to cross, the vehicle struck them and they hit the pavement,” said Police Director Tim Griffin last week. “The vehicle then fled the scene, and within an hour the female that was the driver of the vehicle turned herself in.”
The driver of the Subaru was Lissette Chavez, 26, of North Bergen, who showed up West New York Police headquarters with her mother, who was the owner of the vehicle, although it was unregistered at the time.
Chavez was charged with leaving the scene of an accident with serious injuries. Her mother was also issued a summons for an unregistered vehicle.
The victims were both taken to the Jersey City Medical Center, where Jiang was treated for multiple injuries and bruises around her body. Wang, however, had more serious injuries to the head, which currently still has him in a coma.
“The last we heard was that he is still in critical, but guarded condition,” said Griffin last week. “The woman I believe may have been released, but her injuries weren’t as serious.”
Motor vehicle charge
The Traffic Investigation Unit is still running an investigation as a result of the incident.
“Anytime we have an accident with serious injuries involved, the unit will do a full-blown investigation,” said Griffin.
At the moment there has been no information as to whether Chavez was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the incident, although it seems unlikely, and she was issued a summons from the Department of Motor Vehicles.
“Chavez was given a summons for leaving the scene – that’s motor vehicle charge – and any other charges will be pending the traffic investigation,” said Griffin.
Why it happened
Griffin said that there may be a tendency for drivers to not notice pedestrians on Bergenline Avenue after work hours.
“Basically we think its because Bergenline Avenue [at that hour] is clear of the normal day-to-day traffic,” said Griffin. “It’s just an open road and people have a tendency to increase their speed; not realizing that pedestrians are still walking the streets at those hours.”
West New York has an average of two to three hit-and-run incidents involving pedestrians a year, but they do not always result in serious injuries.
“Sometimes the person is only sideswiped by the car, and the vehicle takes off,” said Griffin.