Police investigate fatal hit-and-run on Tonnelle Avenue in North Bergen

According to a press release from the North Bergen Police Department, at approximately 12:06 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 2 the North Bergen Police and the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office Crash Investigation Unit responded to a report of a pedestrian struck. North Bergen police officers arrived at the Seville Motel to find a man lying in the driveway, badly injured and unconscious. North Bergen EMS arrived and were able to resuscitate the victim. He was transported to Jersey City Medical Center where he remained in critical condition until 6:31 p.m., when he died as a result of his injuries.
The victim was identified as Ruperto Chavarria Palma, 27, of Maryland.
According to the press release, Palma appeared to be crossing the highway when he was struck by a vehicle traveling south on Tonnelle Avenue at the 14th Street intersection. The vehicle that struck Palma did not stop and fled the scene, the press release said. Crash investigators analyzed bits of the vehicle found at the scene, and reviewed surveillance video from nearby businesses. Investigators determined that a large black SUV, possibly a 2005 to 2007 Toyota Sequoia, may have been the vehicle involved.
Anyone that has information regarding this fatal hit and run accident is asked to contact the North Bergen Police at (201) 392-2100 or the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office Crash Investigation Unit at (201) 915-1300. All calls will be kept confidential.

One-car accident on Route 3 in Secaucus fatal to driver

On Tuesday, Oct. 4, Lance Leedy, 56, of Hasbrouck Heights was traveling on the “main body” of Route 3 West in a 2001 Ford Explorer, according to a press release from the Secaucus Police Department. At approximately 8:08 p.m. Leedy veered over the grass median onto the Route 3 West Service Road. In the area of the Maple Street Ramp he struck a utility pole and his vehicle overturned. At some point during the crash Leedy was ejected from his vehicle.
After being treated for serious injuries at the scene he was transported to Hackensack University Medical Center, but he died from his injuries at 2:28 a.m.
The crash is being investigated by the Secaucus Police Department Traffic Division. The cause has yet to be determined.
“On behalf of the Secaucus Police Department, our prayers go out to the Leedy family,” Secaucus Police Chief Kevin Flaherty said in the press release.
This is the second fatal crash in Secaucus in 2016. Anyone who may have witnessed this crash or who has any information on the crash are asked to contact the Secaucus Police Traffic Division at (201) 809-4603 or

Funds available for Hudson-Bergen Light Rail expansion into Englewood

The $16 billion, eight year transportation funding compromise plan on Oct. 30 includes funding for the expansion of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail system, Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto announced last week in a press release. The agreement will provide $2 billion in new annual revenue into the state’s Transportation Trust Fund. The trust fund pays for hundreds of projects throughout the state ranging from road resurfacing, major bridge improvements, and to finally expand the Light Rail north into Bergen County.
“Hudson and Bergen counties are two of our state’s most important economic engines and expanding the light rail system will make them even more dynamic,” said Speaker Prieto. “This is an exciting day for the region and I’m very proud to have secured this needed funding.”
With the area still recovering from the crash of an NJ Transit train at Hoboken Terminal on Wednesday, Sept. 28, Speaker Prieto also emphasized the public safety benefits of the transportation funding deal.
“Transportation funding is not just an economic and quality of life issue, but it’s also a public safety issue,” he said. “We do not yet know the cause of the Hoboken train crash, but we know that increased transportation funds will allow our public transit systems to be modernized and expanded, which will both serve commuters better and keep them safe.”
The proposed Light Rail expansion would add seven new stations to the existing system, including stops at 91st Street in North Bergen, Ridgefield, Palisades Park, Leonia, Englewood Route 4, Englewood Town Center and Englewood Hospital. Initial studies have found that it would add over 20,000 new daily riders.
New stops may be added in the future in Jersey City as well. Watch for a story next week.

Funding for 12 new Hudson County Sheriff’s Officers announced

On Monday, Oct. 3, Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-9th Dist.) announced a $1.5 million federal grant award to hire 12 new sheriff’s officers in Hudson County, according to a press release from the U.S. Congress. The funding, from the U.S. Department of Justice’s COPS Office, is part of the COPS Hiring Program, which promotes public safety through community policing. CHP grants go directly to law enforcement agencies to hire new and/or rehire career law enforcement officers in an effort to increase their community policing capacity and crime prevention efforts.

The Hudson County Fair returns for Columbus weekend

Come out to enjoy rides, food, live music, and petting zoos this Columbus weekend from Friday to Monday at James Braddock Park. For the first time at the fair there will be a 90 foot Ferris wheel, petting zoos and pony rides on Monday, and a raffle every day. The petting zoos and pony rides are new this year, but are only available on Monday.
Freeholder Anthony Vainieri said, “You’ll be able to see the New York skyline briefly on the Ferris wheel. We’ll be raffling two TV’s and two bikes. There will be much more prizes, bigger and different types of them, at the game vendors than there were last year.” Vainieri said the all game vendors last year had the same prizes, but they will be different this year.
For two hours on Saturday, North Bergen High School alumni, or those who moved away from North Bergen, can enjoy a small reunion with Vainieri, friends, and other officials. The two hours will begin around 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., according to Vainieri there is no specific time yet.
The fair starts Friday, Oct. 7 at 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday it will take place from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. On Monday, Oct. 10 enjoy the fair from noon until 9 p.m. The admission is free, but ticket prices for food, rides, and games vary.

Free film festival at the library

The Black Maria Film Festival returns to the North Bergen Public Library for the 42nd Annual NJ Young Filmmakers’ Festival Winners. The first place winner, and High Tech High School student, is Hali Merrill. The festival will be Thursday, Oct. 20 at 6:30 p.m. The Main Library is located at 8411 Bergenline Avenue. For more information please contact the library at (201) 869-4715 or visit

Do-It-Yourself Craft program begins Oct. 27

The North Bergen Public Library has a DIY craft program which begins Thursday, Oct. 27 at 1 p.m. Create a new DIY project on the fourth Thursday of every month. Before attending those must sign-up at the Reference desk in the main library. Please contact the library at (201) 869-4715 for more information. The library is located on 8411 Bergenline Ave.

Free breast cancer seminar Oct. 19

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Hackensack UMC Palisades and their World Class Physicians from John Theurer Cancer Center will host a free health seminar on breast cancer Wednesday, Oct. 19. Attendees will hear experts discuss current research, early detection and prevention, and treatment options for breast cancer. The free seminar starts at 6:30 p.m. with free food and refreshments. Free parking and transportation is also provided. Transportation leaves from 60th Street and Bergenline Avenue at 5:30 p.m. HackensackUMC Palisades is located on 7600 River Road. To register contact Nikki at (201) 854-5702.

Free presentation on native plants and birds Oct. 13
On Thursday, Oct. 13 at 12:30 p.m. Don Torino, President of Bergen County Audubon Society, will give a presentation on the importance of planting native plants in your backyard. Torino will discuss the benefits the plants provide to birds, insects, wildlife and your yard. Registration is recommended at or call 201-460-8300. The presentation takes place at the Meadowlands Environment Center on 2 DeKorte Park Plaza in Lyndhurst.

Halloween at the Meadowlands Oct. 27

Celebrate Halloween at DeKorte Park on Thursday, Oct. 27 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. There will be games, crafts, and activities throughout the evening, including hayrides and the Witch’s Den. Take your kids on the Historical Figures of the Meadowlands Not-So Spooky Walk where they’ll meet the Pirates who inhabited the region in the 1600’s, Muskrat Trappers, Pig Farmers and other distinctive figures that give the Meadowlands its unique personality. The event is $8 per person, and registration is required. Walks are recommended for children ages 5 through 12 and last approximately 30 to 40 minutes. When registering, please select your Not-So-Spooky Walk time slot, but don’t forget to come early and enjoy all the activities. Don’t forget your costume also. Registration and pre-payment required, those can register at For more information call or visit 201-460-8300 or

© 2000, Newspaper Media Group