A Toms River man has admitted his role in a hit-and-run accident that took place in October, which resulted in the death of a Lakewood man.
Alexander Politan, 31, of Toms River, pled guilty to knowingly leaving the scene of an accident resulting in the death of another person stemming from the Oct. 4, 2019 crash. He also pled guilty to a charge of driving with a suspended license.
According to prosecutors, on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019, at approximately 9:20 p.m., Lakewood police were called to Oak Street, south of Albert Avenue, for a report of a pedestrian struck by a vehicle. Jesus Lopez-Grande, 15, of Lakewood, and his father, Jesus Lopez-Ramirez, 37, also of Lakewood, were walking near the shoulder portion of Oak Street when they were struck by a vehicle, an investigation showed.
Jesus Lopez-Ramirez sustained an injury to his elbow. Jesus Lopez-Grande was found lying face down in the driveway of a home on Oak Street. Jesus Lopez-Grande suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Detectives determined from the debris that vehicle parts located at the crash scene belonged to a black 2014 Jeep Cherokee. At that time, the Lakewood Police Department, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office launched an extensive search to locate that vehicle. Two days later, a black Jeep Cherokee matching the description of the suspect vehicle was discovered in the driveway of a residence on New Hampshire Avenue in Toms River. The residence was unoccupied. The black Jeep Cherokee had damage to the passenger side, and a search warrant was obtained for the Jeep.
The ensuing investigation revealed that Politan was operating the vehicle when it struck Jesus Lopez-Grande and Jesus Lopez-Grande, police said. He was located and apprehended on Oct. 8, 2019 and has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since the time of his arrest.
At the time of his sentencing on April 17, 2020, the State will recommend a sentence of seven years New Jersey state prison.