Driver Indicted in Hit and Run, Head-On Crash That Killed Toms River Woman
Abel Hernandez-Betancourt, 28, faces charges of vehicular homicide, knowingly leaving the scene in fatal crash
The Lakewood driver who allegedly left the scene of a fatal head-on collision on Route 70 in December, killing a Toms River woman, has been indicted on a charge of vehicular homicide by an Ocean County grand jury.
Abel Hernandez-Betancourt, 28, of Lakewood was indicted last week on two counts in the Dec. 17 crash that killed Jean McCarthy, 71, of Toms River, and seriously injured her husband, Edward McCarthy, 74. He faces one count of vehicular homicide on the charge of driving while intoxicated and causing Jean McCarthy's death, and one count of knowingly leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident resulting in death.
According to police reports at the time, Jean McCarthy was being driven home by her husband after a prior minor accident at Routes 9 and 70, where she hit the rear of a car driven by a 73-year-old Manchester woman who was slowing in traffic. The McCarthys had just left the scene of that accident when their car was hit head-on by the van driven by Hernandez-Betancourt, who was turning left from Route 70 onto Massachusetts Avenue, police said at the time.
After the crash, Hernandez-Betancourt allegedly got out of the van and ran away from the scene. He was tracked down less than an hour later on Massachusetts Avenue and arrested, police said.
The McCarthys were less than a mile from their home at the time of the crash. Edward McCarthy spent several days in the hospital recovering from his injuries.
Hernandez-Betancourt remains in the Ocean County Jail, Toms River, on $175,000 bail, no 10 percent option. He also is being held on a detainer from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement due to his illegal status, according to police. He also was ordered not to have any contact with Jean McCarthy's family.