A Toms River man who was behind the wheel of his Jeep when he hit two pedestrians in Lakewood last year will serve a seven-year prison sentence, a judge ruled Wednesday.
Alexander Politan, 31, was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Guy P. Ryan following his guilty plea in February to charges of leaving the scene of a fatal accident and driving with a suspended license.
The fatal accident occurred Friday, Oct. 4, 2019, at approximately 9:20 p.m. on Oak Street, south of Albert Avenue in Lakewood Township. Investigators learned 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. Lopez-Ramirez sustained an injury to his elbow while Lopez-Grande was found lying face down in the driveway of a home on Oak Street. Lopez-Grande suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Vehicle debris was left at the scene, leading detectives to determine that the vehicle involved in the hit-and-run was a black 2014 Jeep Cherokee. 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 and, on Oct. 6, 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, and the black Jeep Cherokee had damage to the passenger side. A search warrant was obtained for the Jeep Cherokee, and an investigation pointed to Politan as the driver in the fatal crash.
Politan has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since the date of his arrest