Manchester Police charge hit-and-run ATV driver
Manchester Township Police have charged the driver of an ATV who caused a collision with another ATV on the Heritage Minerals Property and then fled the scene.
The victim, 28-year old John Guzman of Queens, New York, suffered multiple broken bones after being ejected from his ATV due to the collision and remains critical but stable at Jersey Shore University Medical Center.
Manchester Police found Guzman following the collision on Sunday afternoon along with his blue Yamaha quad style ATV.
Guzman, who was not wearing any safety equipment, had been driving west along the south side of Crystal Lake when a larger ATV collided with him and then took off from the area.
The suspect's ATV was believed to be a 2019, Polaris RZR, white in color and police gathered evidence to firm up the belief after finding a piece of that ATV at the scene.
Police said this evidence was consistent with the statements provided by eye witnesses.
Based on witness testimony police identified the vehicle’s operator as well as the possible location of the suspect ATV.
A thorough investigation led to police arresting and charging 31-year-old Brett Durant of Scotch Plains for Knowingly Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Accident Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury which is a 3rd degree crime.
Durant was taken into custody without incident.
He was processed and released on a summons pending a first court appearance.
Police said that Durant’s Polaris RZR ATV, which had been hidden in a remote wooded location on the property several miles from the scene of the crash was recovered and seized pending forfeiture.
The Manchester, Ridgeway and Whiting Volunteer Fire Departments, EMTs from the Manchester Township Division of Emergency Services and paramedics from Robert Wood Johnson assisted Manchester Police at the scene.
"The assistance of the fire personnel was instrumental as they were able to utilize their off road vehicles to transport EMTs and paramedics to the scene to render aid to the victim."
Manchester Police also remind everyone that the Heritage Minerals or “ASARCO” site is private property and is closed for recreational and/or other use and it is a criminal offense to enter or remain on the property.
"In the interest of public safety, the Manchester Township Police urges everyone to obey the “No Trespassing” signs posted at the site. Trespassers are subject to hefty fines and penalties up to and including incarceration for being on the property."
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