Linden driver charged in fatal hit-and-run in Elizabeth

ELIZABETH — A Linden man has been arrested and charged in connection with a fatal hit-and-run automobile crash that took place during the weekend on the New Jersey Turnpike in Elizabeth, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park and New Jersey State Police Superintendent Rick Fuentes jointly announced on Monday.

William Espinal-Mejia, 35, is charged with a single count of second-degree leaving the scene of a fatal accident. He turned himself in to authorities Monday evening, when bail was set at $100,000.

The victim in the case has been identified as 25-year-old Vincent Harrison of Valley Stream, N.Y., a New York City Police Department officer who was not on duty at the time of his death.

It was approximately 3 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 28 when state troopers responded to a report of a crash that occurred in the southbound outer lanes of the Turnpike near mile marker 102.5 in Elizabeth, according to the investigation. Harrison was found at that location and pronounced dead at the scene.

The investigation revealed that Harrison was allegedly involved in an accident with another vehicle and reportedly exited his vehicle and engaged in an exchange of words with the other driver.

Information provided to law enforcement has led investigators to believe that Harrison had his weapon drawn immediately prior to being struck by a third vehicle being operated by Espinal-Mejia, who stopped briefly but then allegedly left the scene before troopers arrived. The incident remains under investigation.

These criminal charges are mere accusations. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.