Francisco Perez, aged 62, was struck by a 1990 Dodge Ram near North Railroad Avenue, as he rode a bicycle on Ramapo Valley Road, New Jersey. As a result of the collision, Perez fell from the bike and hit his head. Following the injury, Perez was admitted to St. Joseph’s Healthcare Center in Paterson, New Jersey. Reports suggested that Perez was in the hospital until the next day.
According to Bergen County Prosecutor Jonathan L. Molinelli, the driver of the vehicle; Thomas Rinaldi from Mahwah got arrested as the police found out that he had been drinking. The driver, Rinaldi, was charged with the following charges; assault by auto, driving while intoxicated, reckless driving and other vehicle violations.
Further investigations from Molinelli’s office and the Mahwah Police Department found that Rinaldi was headed south on Ramapo Valley road when he made a quick left turn towards North Railroad Avenue. He ended up striking Perez, as he crossed into the northbound lane.
Rinaldi, aged 64, had to go through toxicology tests and was later arraigned in Municipal Court, Mahwah. The bail was $25,000. Rinaldi was however, released after paying 10 percent of the total in cash. The accident occurred on September 9th, 2014. Rinaldi’s first appearance in Mahwah Municipal Court was scheduled on September 11, 2014.
Prosecutor Molinelli also added that the charges against Rinaldi were still in the vicinity of the term allegations, since nothing had been proven against the driver in a court of law. Furthermore, Molinelli elaborated that the defendant was obviously presumed guilty until proven innocent. He also thanked the Mahwah Police Department for their aid during the investigation.
Despite such strict drunk driving laws in the area such accidents continue to be a major cause for personal injury. Perhaps the law needs to find more deterrent penalties to stop people from driving while they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.