Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on July 22, 2023, Angel Garcia-Rodriguez, 26, of Lakewood, was charged with Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Crash Resulting in a Death, as well as Endangering an Injured Victim, in connection with a motor vehicle crash that occurred in the early morning hours of July 22, 2023, in Lakewood Township.
On July 22, 2023, at approximately 2:25 a.m., Officers from the Lakewood Township Police Department responded to the area of James Street for a report of a serious motor vehicle crash. Responding Officers found that a 2007 Honda Civic had struck a utility pole. Officers also discovered that the driver of the vehicle had fled the scene of the crash, and located a critically injured male victim in the passenger seat of the vehicle. The male victim was taken to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, where he ultimately succumbed to his injuries.
An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit and Lakewood Township Police Department Detective Bureau revealed that the Honda Civic was traveling westbound on James Street when it lost directional control and struck the utility pole on the passenger side door. The investigation further revealed that Garcia-Rodriguez was the operator of the vehicle at the time of the crash, and that he had fled the scene before police arrived. Garcia-Rodriguez was ultimately located at a residence in Lakewood and taken into custody without incident. He was thereafter transported to Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus in Lakewood, where a court authorized sample of his blood was taken. Garcia-Rodriguez was then transported to the Ocean County Jail, where he is currently lodged pending a detention hearing.
Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit, Lakewood Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Lakewood Township Police Department, Toms River Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, for their combined assistance in connection with this investigation.
The charges referenced above are merely accusations and the press and public are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.