Union boy killed in hit-and-run

Jeremy Maraj of Union was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver. A neighbor has set up a GoFundMe page to help the family defray medical and burial costs.

UNION, NJ — Police are searching for the driver of a white or silver van that struck and killed a 12-year-old Union boy on Galloping Hill Road at about 8 p.m. on Wednesday, July 17, authorities said.

Jeremy Maraj died July 19, about 36 hours after being hit in the area of Forest Drive, according to the Union County Prosecutor’s Office and Union police. The UCPO said the boy’s death is being investigated as a vehicular homicide.

The driver of the van did not stop and fled north on Galloping Hill Road, Union police said. Maraj was transported to University Hospital in Newark, where he later died.

The vehicle involved has been described as a white commercial van. The death is being jointly investigation by the Union County Homicide Task Force and Union Police Department, the UCPO said in a July 19 release.

Union resident Tom Ehrhardt has begun a GoFundMe page to help defray the costs of the Maraj family’s medical and funeral expenses. The page met its $30,000 target within two days, having reached $30,815 from 544 donors by July 22. Any money beyond the needed funds were to be donated to the local elementary school, the page said.

“Jeremy was a delightful young man who had a positive impact on anyone he was around,” the GoFundMe page read. “I can honestly say my life and the lives of all those he knew and loved were better because of him. He loved to play soccer and basketball and I’m not ashamed to admit he was better at both than I am or ever was. His memory will live on in all of us. Rest in peace little man. You will never be forgotten.”

Anyone with information is urged to contact Task Force Detective Sean Holcomb at 908-358-8377 or Union Police Officer Michael Salerno at 908-851-5070. The Union County Crime Stoppers are offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to an arrest and indictment in this case; tips can be given anonymously by phone at 908-654-8477 or online at www.uctip.org.