SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–South Brunswick Police Chief Raymond Hayducka announced the arrest of a 41-year-old North Brunswick man in connection to a series of crashes that left a bicyclist and an officer injured Thursday afternoon. “We were very lucky today. When you see the police vehicle and hear from witnesses who saw the bicyclist run over, you realize it is a miracle,” said Chief Hayducka.
The incident began at 1:29 PM when the bicyclist, a 40-year-old East Brunswick man, was riding on Route 522, crossing over Route 130 to Fresh Ponds Road. At the same time, a 2017 Ford passenger van driven by Ankur Khajuriwala age 41 of North Brunswick made a left-hand turn from Route 522 onto Route 130 northbound and ran over the bicyclist. The van never stopped and headed northbound on Route 130. South Brunswick officer, PFC Joseph Marrero, was out of his patrol SUV across the highway and witnessed the bicyclist get struck. PFC Marrero got back in his vehicle and headed Route 130 north attempting to locate the van that had fled. As he headed northbound traffic began to slow and he took evasive action. His SUV left the roadway and hit a berm which sent the vehicle airborne. The SUV then struck a sign and a utility pole before coming to rest in a parking lot.
The Monmouth Junction Fire Department responded to the scene and freed PFC Marrero from the vehicle. South Brunswick EMS and paramedics transported PFC Marrero to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, while Monroe EMS transported the bicyclist to the same hospital. Both the officer and bicyclist were released from the hospital late Thursday evening.
The bicyclist was able to provide officers with a partial license plate of the van that struck him. Police dispatchers were able to isolate the van and determined it came back to Rainbow Home Adult Day Care in Somerset. After making contact with the business, Mr. Khajuriwala returned to the scene. The investigation found that Mr. Khajuriwala knew he struck something and continued to drive northbound. A few minutes later he realized he was headed in the wrong direction and traveled southbound on Route 130 passing both the crash involving the officer and the bicyclist who had been struck. Mr. Khajuriwala was arrested and charged with Endangering an Injured Victim, leaving the scene of an accident, reckless driving, and several other motor vehicle offenses. In addition, Rainbow Home Adult Day Care was cited for having an unregistered vehicle and improperly licensed driver using their vehicle.
South Brunswick Police Sergeant William Merkler is the lead investigator and anyone with information is asked to call him at (732) 329-4646.
Chief Hayducka added, “The bicyclist had amazing composure even after being struck to remember the majority of the license plate number. I am thankful that everyone was released from the hospital, but aggravated at the conduct of the driver who started everything.”
South Brunswick Police would like to thank the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office and Franklin Township Police for all their assistance in the case.