A 21-year-old Piscataway man has been charged with first-degree aggravated manslaughter for the death of a New Brunswick High School vice principal in a hit-and-run accident, authorities from the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office and Piscataway Police Department said on Thursday.
Freddy Garcia also faces charges for second degree knowingly leaving an accident scene resulting in a death, third-degree causing death while driving with a suspended license, third-degree hindering and fourth-degree providing false reports.
He is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 12 in New Brunswick.
High school vice principal Tyrone Harrison, 49, of Somerset was killed on Oct. 6 at approximately 9:17 p.m. when he was walking from the Edison train station to a relative’s house when he was hit by a vehicle on Stelton Road near Ethel Road in Piscataway, according to police.
Police said that multiple vehicles were participating in illegal drag racing on Stelton Road when they allege that Garcia, the driver of a 2003 Honda Accord, lost control and hit Harrison, who was declared dead at the scene.
Garcia allegedly “abandoned his car and fled the scene,” authorities said. “Later, Garcia falsely reported that his car, which was not registered or insured, was stolen.”
To find the alleged driver of the 2003 Honda Accord, police had reached out to the public for help this week, while conducting the investigation.
“We sincerely thank all who came forward with timely information which aided the investigation and led to the current charges,” said Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey. “We are continuing to gather evidence of this reckless criminal activity. Our thoughts and prayers remain with all of Mr. Harrison’s loved ones.”
Garcia was also issued 12 motor vehicle summonses for reckless driving, careless driving, racing on highway, leaving the scene involving personal injury, failure to report collision, failure to keep right, suspended driver, unlicensed driver, unregistered vehicle, uninsured vehicle, fictitious plates and no inspection sticker.
Despite the arrest, the investigation remains active. Anyone with information is asked to call Piscataway Police Officer Meredith Robbins at 732-562-7652 or Prosecutor’s Office Detective Jonathan Berman at 732-745-4328.
“This tragic death was entirely preventable and unnecessary,” Carey said in a statement on Oct. 10. “Drag racing on public roads is dangerous and irresponsible.”